labor diversity 102920DANVILLE – In recognition of the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joins the Illinois Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Labor in celebrating and promoting the value of apprenticeships.

National Apprenticeship Week is a nationwide celebration from Nov. 8-14 that gives businesses, communities and educators the opportunity to highlight their apprenticeship programs and apprentices, as well as demonstrate the value apprenticeship programs offer businesses, career seekers and their communities.

“This week, we celebrate the endless opportunities apprenticeships create for businesses, job seekers and educational institutions that help shape our workforce,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Labor Committee. “I will continue to be an advocate to help grow and expand these unique opportunities.”

Bennett noted that apprenticeships are proven to help workers gain skills in growing industries while helping employers build an equipped workforce. He encourages folks to explore the benefits of an apprenticeship throughout the week.

For more information about apprenticeships, visit the Danville Building & Construction Trades Council at or East Central Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council at

pexels kaique rocha 331990DANVILLE – With the holiday season fast approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is reminding residents to shop small and support local businesses whenever possible. 

“Small businesses play a vital role in our economy, and it’s important that we promote and support them this holiday season,” Bennett said. “I encourage folks to think about the difference they can make in our community by supporting businesses where our friends and neighbors work.”

As people begin their holiday shopping, Bennett is reminding residents that supporting small doesn’t just mean shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Residents can support small businesses through online sales, ordering carryout from a locally owned restaurant or buying a gift card for a friend.

Additionally, if money is tight due to the financial concerns relating to the pandemic, people can still support local businesses by following their social media, recommending them to friends and leaving positive reviews.

“For every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents stays in the community. Small businesses have always been there for us, and now it’s time to give back,” Bennett said. “We can give these folks a hand up this holiday season by shopping locally.”

Bennett would also like to remind struggling small businesses that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has launched the second round of the Business Interruption Grant program, which will distribute $220 million to small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic, including movie theaters, event venues, hotels and more. Learn more and apply here.

DUI 090420DANVILLE – With Halloween only days away, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging motorists and adults to take extra precautions this year to keep everyone safe.

“While Halloween celebrations may be different this year, it’s still important to plan for a sober ride home, especially while children are trick-or-treating in the dark,” Bennett said. “If your Halloween festivities are going to involve alcohol, plan ahead.”

Illinois motor vehicle crash death rates are higher this year than last year. As of Oct. 23, 864 Illinoisans have lost their lives in vehicle accidents so far in 2020, according to information from the Illinois Department of Transportation. In an effort to keep motorists and pedestrians safe, law enforcement has increased its efforts to keep impaired drivers off the road.

“I want everyone in our community to have a fun Halloween night, but to also stay safe and make responsible choices,” Bennett said. “A few preventive measures can mean the difference between life and death this weekend.”

Bennett also wants to remind those celebrating to practice appropriate social distancing, keep gatherings to a minimum and never substitute a Halloween mask for a face covering intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. For more guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health, visit

10.28.2020 FFRI Zoom

SPRINGFIELD – Area farmers who need someone to talk to about the everyday stresses of farming and pandemic-related challenges now have a new resource. A new helpline (1-833-FARM-SOS) will connect farmers to health professionals and services through the Farm Family Resource Initiative.

In addition to the helpline, the initiative offers ongoing outreach, education and training to rural partners working to improve the health and safety of farm families. Free webinars and trainings on psychological signs of stress and Mental Health First Aid offer program participants skill-building tools to meet the needs of rural clients and farmers.

“Small farms are the core of our state’s economy, and farmers are on the front lines to provide food for our communities. The reality of this pandemic is that a new layer of stress has been put on farmers and farm families,” said Senator Scott Bennett. “The Farm Family Resource Initiative and helpline will give farmers additional support to help folks recognize and navigate these times.”

Initiated through the legislative leadership of Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), the Farm Family Resource Initiative is a joint pilot program of SIU School of Medicine and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The SIU School of Medicine’s Center for Rural Health and Social Services Development is leading the effort to build a statewide network of support and resources for Illinois farm families, starting in six counties: Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Morgan and Sangamon.

“The Farm Family Resource Initiative educational opportunities and the helpline are a few of the ways that SIU is fulfilling its rural health mission for social accountability in central and southern Illinois,” said Jerry Kruse, MD, MSPH, Dean and Provost of SIU School of Medicine.

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