Family with childrenCHAMPAIGN – In observance of World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse on Nov. 19, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) expressed his thanks to child protection services professionals who work to prevent child abuse and neglect.

“On this day, we celebrate the important role communities play in protecting children from abuse,” Bennett said. “It’s a reminder that it is our everyday task to put forth our efforts toward strengthening families and preventing abuse and neglect so that our children have a safe place to grow.”

Dating back to 2000, the first World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse was launched by the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF). WWSF joined hands with an international coalition of advocacy organizations for women and children’s issues, and together, they started a movement to mobilize governments and societies to take action and prevent child abuse.

The purpose of the day is to encourage governments and civic organizations to play a more active role in the promotion of and respect for the rights of the child, especially with regards to the issue of child abuse and the need for effective prevention programs.

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CHAMPAIGN – Two Champaign-Urbana attractions are among the 43 Illinois museums to receive a portion of $22.8 million in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Wednesday.

“These grants could not have come at a better time, with many of our cultural institutions facing significant losses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” Bennett said. “This funding will further the park districts’ efforts to adapt and transform their services to meet the community’s needs through this ongoing pandemic.”

Among the museums receiving grants are the Virginia Theatre, operated by the Champaign Park District, and the Urbana Park District’s Outdoor Learning Pavilion. Each received the maximum grant award of $750,000.

"Museums located throughout Illinois receiving funding through this program are investing in exciting new exhibits and facilities improvements that will help them meet the interests of Illinois citizens and visitors of all ages,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “The museums will provide opportunities to experience the art, anthropology, history, culture, and natural history of their communities, as well as our state and nation.”

The grants are awarded through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, funded by the Rebuild Illinois multi-year state capital program. The grant program is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally-owned land. More information is available on the IDNR website.

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CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, CRIS Rural Mass Transit District, Champaign County and City of Danville were named as recipients of a combined $9.98 million grant to improve transit service throughout the community, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Friday.

Bennett, a member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, worked to prioritize mass transit systems during negotiations of the landmark, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois statewide construction plan.

“Public transportation is an important resource for thousands of residents, allowing them vital access to work, school, health care and more,” said Bennett. “By prioritizing public transit and making the necessary improvements, we are giving residents the freedom and mobility to get wherever they need to go.”

Grant funds will be used for new or renovated buses, transit stations and maintenance facilities. This is the first of three grant cycles for mass transit projects through the Rebuild Illinois plan, with the next two set to occur in 2021 and 2023.

“Transit in our downstate communities can be a lifeline for getting to work or school, a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the grocery store,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “This funding through Rebuild Illinois means these providers finally will have the resources they need to improve service in communities that have not seen this type of investment for many years.”

A complete list of local providers and awards can be viewed at https://idot.click/rbi-capital-plan-transit-grants.

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 https://www.danvillebt.com/apprenticeships/ or East Central Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council at http://builtunion.com/Apprenticeships/.

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