CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will further Illinois’ leadership in the green industry. The new law will help ensure even stronger collaboration between the state and colleges and universities on sustainability issues.
“The ‘green’ technology industry is one of the nation’s fastest-growing employment sectors. Our investments in this sector are critical to ensuring Illinois’ long-term economic growth, and in maintaining our position as a leader in sustainability,” said Governor Quinn. “Our partnerships with the higher education community, business sector, and local communities are critical to those efforts.”
House Bill 166, sponsored by Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign) and Rep. Dave Winters (R-Shirland) creates the Higher Education Green Jobs and Technology Act to further promote collaboration between the state and Illinois’ colleges, universities and research centers focused on green technology. This may include the development of courses and initiatives to align green job programs with employer needs. Under the new law, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board will annually publish information related to new degrees, certifications and courses offered by universities.
The bill will strengthen an existing partnership between the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the state’s community colleges. The Illinois Green Economy Network is a consortium of the state’s 48 community colleges that is geared toward advancing career development in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
This law builds on other green school initiatives by the Quinn administration, such as the Annual Green Government Coordinating Council University Symposium being held Friday, Oct. 28 at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois and the new Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact that outlines environmental goals that colleges and universities may adopt on their campus.
More information on Governor Quinn’s Environmental Sustainability initiatives can be found at Green.Illinois.gov.
© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun