The people in our community have an incredible work ethic. We manufacture tractors and transport wind turbines. We’re first responders, trades workers, manufacturers, and farmers. We’re nurses, teachers, laborers, and active-duty military personnel. Our community is not afraid of hard work.
But in our community, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for people to work hard and earn a fair wage.
The economic opportunities that our community needs aren’t just about money, they’re about a way of life. And that middle-class way of life—hard work, family, and a responsibility to look out for each other—is worth fighting for.
Some of the jobs have come back, but not all of them, and not the same jobs. We all know people that have 3 or 4 of those jobs and are still struggling to make ends meet.
There’s tremendous potential in Western Illinois. We have one of the best-trained, most experienced manufacturing workforces in the world. But to realize that potential, Illinois needs to invest in its people and put everyday families first.
Illinois needs to invest in our public education system to make sure that our kids have the opportunities they need to compete. We also need to invest in our IT and transportation infrastructure to grow our manufacturing base and bring back the kind of good-paying jobs that can support a family. Our leaders in Springfield need to remember that everybody in this community deserves the opportunity to work hard and build a better life for their family.
Some people want to tell you that Illinois can’t afford to make these investments. The truth is, we can’t afford not to.