Bennett promotes career and technical programs SPRINGFIELD - State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) measure to address computer science education studies in Illinois was signed into law today.

While touring Vermilion County companies, Bennett continued to hear about hiring struggles in the region.

“There are real jobs here at home,” Bennett said.  “However, our workforce isn’t always able to meet the needs of our local employers.”

House Bill 5720 creates the Taskforce on Computer Science Education to analyze the current state of computer science education in Illinois and make recommendations to increase computer science education in Illinois schools.

While touring Watchfire Signs in Danville, Bennett took some time to meeting with AnnMarie Cross, Director of Human Resources who is having problems finding qualified job applicants with a computer science background.

“Watchfire struggles mightily to hire adequate computer science staff every year – so much so that we’ve built an elaborate system of internships, tuition support and staff development programs to grow as many of our own as possible, and to keep every qualified, capable person on staff long-term. Beyond that, we have relocated engineers from as far as California, and have H1B visa employees that we relocated from other locations,” Cross said. “Our continued growth is threatened by to the struggle to fulfill our needs for software engineering, computer engineering and I.T. talent – with associates’ and bachelors’ degrees and beyond.”

Bennett believes local employers should not have to look beyond Illinois while making hiring decisions.

“We need to match Illinois residents with high-demand jobs to keep employers and workers in Illinois,” Bennett said.  “This new law will ensure we continue to work to guarantee Illinois’ workforce meets the demands of our economy,”

House Bill 5720 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and was signed into law today.

Category: Press Releases

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