The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 6, 2013

Text of Gov. Quinn's State of the State speech

Quinn says pension issue 'squeezing out' education, public safety

(Continued)

SPRINGFIELD —

The Illinois Manufacturing Lab will make our manufacturers more competitive.

Now, in our Illinois, we leave no worker behind.

As we create next-generation jobs, we must ensure that our workers are equipped for them.

Today there are 140,000 job openings in our state that are unfilled because the people looking for jobs don’t have the necessary skills.

So we’re closing this “skills gap.” Over the past year, we’ve trained thousands of workers for jobs in high-demand industries like healthcare, manufacturing and construction.

But let’s not forget one community that already has great technical skills and training. That’s our veterans. We need to make sure their military training counts here in Illinois.

That’s why, this morning, I signed an Executive Order that directs our licensing agencies to assess military training for state license requirements.

Just last month, we completed a great first step, with the Board of Nursing approving a suggested “bridge” curriculum for military medics to obtain LPN licenses.

We owe it to our veterans and to our companies to keep this process moving.

And that’s exactly what my Executive Order will do. We’ll help more companies hire veterans and take advantage of the Hiring Veterans Tax Credit we passed last year.

Our shared vision for a better Illinois also means we must honor the productivity of our workers.

Our businesses are only as good as the employees who drive their success.

Nobody in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. That’s a principle as old as the Bible.

That’s why, over the next 4 years, we must raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour.

Senator Kimberly Lightford, you are doing the right thing with your mission to raise the minimum wage.

And as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, it’s always the right time to do the right thing.

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