BARTONVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) addressed the need for public transportation to meet the need for growth in trade jobs during a Thursday stop in Bartonville.
Duckworth discussed job growth with representatives from West Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 15,000 union members in 13 counties across Central Illinois.
Union members said they are getting a large number of apprentices, but many do not have reliable transportation to work.
“I think the biggest takeaway is we still have challenges… They’re still having issues with people accessing to good transportation to get to work,” said Duckworth, who sits on the Transportation Committee in Congress.
Duckworth said Illinois has been awarded many American Rescue Plan infrastructure grants. The jobs are there, but workers need to be able to get to the actual work site. She said public transportation is needed to enhance that job growth.
“One of the things I’ve been talking about is increasing rural transportation, public transportation programs, and making sure we support the ability to have more mass transit programs that are not necessarily centered around a major urban area.”
Upon graduation from the apprenticeship program, a union member could make at least $120,000 per year
“That’s good money. You can raise a family on that, you can pay your mortgage on that, you can save for retirement on that. Those are good American jobs that will build out our economy, that will provide the human infrastructure, the workforce we need that will bring us into the next century,” she said.