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Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Applauds Signature of Legislation to Expand Career and Technical Education Programs

By May 31, 2022April 27th, 2023No Comments

June 1, 2022

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Applauds Signature of Legislation to Expand Career and Technical Education Programs

HB3296 allows students to explore career pathways earlier, prepares them for future success

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB3296 into law, which expands career and technical education in schools across the state and will help students better understand their career pathway options as early as sixth grade:

“By expanding career and technical education in schools across our state, students will better understand their career pathways at an earlier age, preparing them for long-term success at school, in their careers and in life. Under this measure, all school districts will be required to implement state-approved career exploration pathway programming for students beginning in sixth grade, with a special emphasis on building skills valued by local employers. With this new law, Illinois is taking concrete steps to invest in the future of our students, our skilled workforce and our economy,” said Sarah Hartwick, Vice President of Education & Workforce Policy and head of the IMA’s Education Foundation. “We’d like to thank Gov. JB Pritzker for his support of this measure, as well as Rep. Suzanne Ness and Sen. Melinda Bush for their leadership on this issue and Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University for their partnership in developing this legislation. With unanimous bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, this demonstrates what we can achieve by working together.”

“Thoughtful, aligned college and career preparation and advising supports Illinois students to succeed as they transition beyond high school and supports the State to address employer needs and the growing careers of tomorrow,” said Education Systems Center Executive Director and Founder Jonathan Furr. “HB3296 builds from the 2016 Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act and many years of dedicated work by communities statewide to develop and implement high-quality college and career pathways systems that ensure students are prepared for whatever comes after high school.” For example, at Ridgewood High School, the first five students who earned the College and Career Pathways Endorsement in manufacturing all received job offers upon graduation. Further, students across Illinois pursuing pathways in education are eligible for special consideration and scholarships through Golden Apple, the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship, and several state universities.

About the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA)

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities.  For more information, please visit