PICTURE Bennett meets with Vermilion County business leadersSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) met with local business leaders and representatives from Danville Area Community College (DACC), Vermilion Advantage and the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA).

The importance of maintaining and building a secure labor force in Vermilion and Champaign counties was weaved into the discussion throughout the day. DACC partners with Alcoa in Danville to create a specialized training program for future Alcoa employees. The training program allows students to be workforce ready immediately after graduation.

"Alcoa appreciates Sen. Bennett's commitment to working with the manufacturing community to bring new jobs and opportunities for Danville. We quickly found that he has passion and a commitment to the Champaign and Vermillion County area and to make it an example in regards to manufacturing throughout the state,” said Ray Morgan, operations manager at Alcoa Danville. “Alcoa is a leader in the automotive and aerospace industry with this facility 100% dedicated to automotive.”

Bennett will introduce legislation this year to establish a career and technical education incentive program this session. The goal would be to alleviate workforce shortages in Illinois.

“Danville Area Community College and Vermilion County business leaders have done a great job of fostering a relationship to create a stable workforce in our community,” said Bennett. “We need to replicate this model throughout the state to ensure Illinois’ workforce meets the demands of our economy.”

The meeting was hosted by Alcoa and other members of the IMA. This round table is part of Bennett’s initiative to tour and meet with businesses leaders throughout the district to discuss what he can do this legislative session to find innovative ways to spur economic development opportunities in Vermilion and Champaign Counties.  

"Senator Bennett demonstrated a strong understanding of the need for continuing education for workforce development. Manufacturers are actively seeking skilled workers for high wage positions,” said Jerry Peck, Associate Director of Government Affairs for the IMA. “Some require a 4-year degree while many others require post-secondary skills training.”

Companies represented at the discussion included Watchfire Signs, GEM Inc, Alcoa, Chem-Cast, SYGMA Network and Mervis industries.

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507