By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ greatest assets, Mark Denzler says, are its people and its higher education.
Denzler president of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, announced his group’s 2024 legislative priorities Wednesday at the Illinois State Capitol.
“One of the things when I go out and we help attract companies here with the administration and Intersect Illinois,” said Denzler, “they always ask about workforce. They always ask about workforce. And, as the governor will say often, we have the third largest community college system in the United States. The University of Illinois graduates more engineers than the next three schools combined.”
School is expensive. One bill on Denzler’s wish list is a tax credit for companies which pay off their employees’ student loans.
But higher education is not for everyone, and that’s where a bill from State Rep. Amy Elik (R-Alton) comes in.
“The bill that we have proposes that we allow students to take two years of career-focused coursework, such as CTE (career and technical education) courses, instead of the two years of foreign language. This allows those students who do not plan on attending college the flexibility to take courses that can get them working right after high school.”
Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].