Castro-supported initiative to invest additional $15 million in pre-apprenticeship program grantsSPRINGFIELD – Thanks to State Senator Cristina Castro’s support of the Illinois Works and Rebuild Illinois initiatives, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced another round of funding will be invested in Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program grants. The $15 million in funding will expand equity in Illinois’ construction workforce, grow the pool of highly-skilled apprentices and increase access to building trades careers more broadly.

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program is designed to increase the number of qualified construction and building trades apprentices who are women, people of color and veterans, and prepares them to enter full apprenticeship programs on their way to careers in the construction and building trades.

“A career in the building trades comes with so many benefits: a living wage, a dignified retirement, and opportunities to excel while helping to build our communities,” said State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “I am proud to support the Illinois Works initiatives as they continue to invest in our skilled workforce and create more opportunities for people of color, women, and veterans.”

The latest round of funding will provide grants to a statewide network of nonprofit, community-based organizations to provide free support, wraparound services and skills training to pre-apprenticeship candidates. The program will also provide stipends to ensure those enrolled in pre-apprenticeships have access to transportation, child care and other services that otherwise could serve as barriers to pursuing a career in the trades.

Passed by Senate Democrats in 2019, the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act is designed to promote diversity, inclusion, and use of apprentices in state-funded capital projects. The act created three major programs: the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program; the Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative, and the Illinois Works Bid Credit Program. Together these three programs aim to create a talent pipeline of skilled and diverse candidates to fill new job opportunities created by the act.

The deadline to apply for an Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program grant is Sept. 27, 2022 at 5 pm. Qualified community-based organizations can find more information about the funding and resources for applying by visiting the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

More information for those interested in enrolling in the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program can be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Category: News

Asphalt paving equipment on an empty roadELGIN – Building upon the smart infrastructure investments supported by Senator Cristina Castro, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced an investment of more than $21 million in state and local road and bridge improvement projects.

“Illinois continues to make critical upgrades to our infrastructure, ensuring the safety of residents for years to come,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “These projects will not only improve commutes and increase safety along these routes, they will also create new jobs that contribute to our communities’ recovery.”

As part of IDOT’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois, the district Castro represents will see 23 infrastructure projects totaling more than $184 million over the next six years.

Some of the most vital projects coming to the area include:

  • Replacing the bridge and interchange on Route 20 at IL-31 and along the Route 25 exchange
  • Pavement maintenance and rehabilitation along IL-25 (Dundee Ave) between IL-72 and I-90
  • Pavement preservation on Route 20 in Hanover Park, from Park Avenue to SE of North Avenue

These projects are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan, a $34.6 billion investment in construction projects across the state for the next six fiscal years.

The $34.6 billion will go to highway reconstruction and preservation, bridge improvements, strategic expansion, system support such as engineering and land acquisition, and safety and system modernizations. Over six years, the funding will be dispersed to improve more than 2,500 miles of roads and nearly 10 million square feet of bridges.

“From job creation to improved mobility, I am pleased to see this sizeable investment help grow and sustain our local economies,” Castro said. “These projects will help modernize our transportation infrastructure and equip our communities for the future.”

To find a full list of projects slated for the 22nd Senate District, please visit IDOT’s website.

Category: News

Gray background with orange and yellow text, an image of State Senator Cristina Castro, and an image of State Representative Fred Crespo. Title reads: "Shred Event - Saturday, Aug 20, 9 a.m. to noon, or when trucks are full". Location information: Hoosier Grove Barn, located at 700 West Irving Park Road, Streamwood, Illinois.ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is partnering with other local elected officials to host a free community shred day in Streamwood on Saturday, Aug. 20 that will help residents securely dispose of documents that contain personal and sensitive information.

Shredding trucks will be available at the Hoosier Grove Barn, located at 700 W. Irving Park Rd. in Streamwood, from 9 a.m. – noon or until the trucks are full. Attendees will be able to safely destroy any confidential or vulnerable records, such as bank statements, canceled checks, outdated medical records, paid bills, receipts and junk mail.

“Destroying documents that contain personal information helps protect against fraud and identity theft,” said Castro. “This event is a safe and convenient way to do just that. I hope residents will leave feeling secure knowing that their sensitive information is better protected.”

Sen. Castro will be joined by State Representative Fred Crespo, Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison, the Streamwood Park District and the Hanover Park Community Bank.

Sen. Castro’s office will also be collecting goods for the Astor Food Pantry in Hanover Park. Items that are most needed include: canned ravioli, canned chicken, jarred pasta sauce, coffee, mayonnaise, toilet paper, ketchup and mustard, pickles, ramen soup, paper towels, and toothpaste. See the attached flyer for a full list of items needed by the pantry.

For more information, contact Sen. Castro’s office at 847-214-8864 or online at www.SenatorCristinaCastro.com.

Category: News

educationELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro recently announced that, thanks to funds distributed by the Illinois State Board of Education, School District U-46 will be receiving $50,000 for infrastructure improvements.

“Ensuring the buildings and maintenance projects in our schools are kept up with is critical for keeping our kids safe, healthy and productive in the classroom,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “This investment in U-46 will allow the district to fund projects and give students the learning environment they deserve.”

A total of $30 million in 2022 School Maintenance Grants was distributed to districts across the state. To be eligible for the grants, applicants were required to match the state funds and commit to completing proposed projects within two years.

Projects made possible thanks to these grants include updates to heating and cooling, improvements to ventilation, increased accessibility throughout buildings and more.

“Studies show that high-quality facilities lead to better educational outcomes, and the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the importance of well-ventilated, accessible spaces,” said Castro. “These grants will better the lives of students in our community and across the state.”

A full list of grantees and awards can be viewed on the ISBE website.

Category: News

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District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
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121-C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone

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