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Illinois to receive federal funding for women workers

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(The Center Square) – Women in the Illinois trades will be getting a boost from the federal government after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced more than $1 million in funding for job assistance.

Pritzker joined Illinois Department of Labor representatives and Chicago Women in Trades representatives on Thursday to discuss the funding and explain how the money will be used.

“By cementing this priority in the implementation of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the Biden-Harris administration has established a new era in our efforts to diversify an industry that has historically lacked job opportunities for women, and particularly for women of color,” Pritzker said. “We may still have a long way to go in dismantling decades’ worth of barriers, but we’re making progress on building that future today.”

Pritzker said Illinois will always be a state that supports its labor workers.

“This is a city and a state that has played an important role in the struggle for labor rights,” Pritzker said. “From the 1887 Haymarket affair to the 1894 Pulman strike to the passage of the worker’s rights amendment to our state constitution just last year, Illinois has been for many, many years at the forefront of fighting for fair wages, reasonable hours, and safe working conditions for all people.”

Illinois Department of Labor Director Jane Flanagan said the goal of the funding is to incorporate more women into the field.

“It’s our goal with this grant while working alongside Chicago Women in Trades, we can continue to transform the public construction and infrastructure workforce to include more women,” said Flanagan. “That starts with greater access to the industry, apprenticeships, and using data to measure retention and opportunities for advancement.”

The grants are a part of Pritzker’s $41 billion infrastructure plan that aims to fix roadways, bridges, and highways in Illinois.

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