Lansing Testifies Before House Committee


Published on April 24 2017 2:21 pm
Last Updated on April 24 2017 2:21 pm
Written by Greg Sapp


Investment in young children’s learning are also essential in a well-prepared workforce, Effingham County Chamber President & CEO emphasized in a recent visit to the state capitol.

“Illinois should continue rebuilding from the cuts that devastated state-supported preschool several years ago – and workforce development is a primary reason,” Lansing testified in a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education.

Lansing is a member of the nonprofit ReadyNation organization of business leaders. ReadyNation’s 1,800 members across the country focus on strengthening our workforce and economy through research-proven investments in kids’ learning and development, and early education is a primary focus.

In her comments to Illinois House members, Lansing noted that Effingham County was hit particularly hard by recent preK cuts. The county’s state-supported preschool capacity plummeted in the course of the five years, beginning in 2010.

“I consider that change to be about as damaging to our community’s well-being as the loss of an  employer, with long-lasting consequences for local families, our workforce, and our economy,” Lansing said. She noted that high-quality preschool can greatly boost children’s chances of not only doing well in school and graduating on time, but entering the workforce better-prepared to succeed.

Lansing applauded state leaders who have begun reinvesting in preK and birth-to-3 services for the past two years, and urged them to continue as the Illinois State Board of Education and the Governor have proposed. New state funding already has helped to pull-down new federal dollars, with the combined resources restoring some preK access and improving quality in communities around the state.

Such approaches should be treated as core components of Illinois’ approach to long-term workforce improvement, said Lansing, who added her Chamber has added a full-time staff position dedicated to a number of workforce-development matters, due to the critical need for a high quality skilled workforce.

While at the statehouse, Lansing briefly visited with area lawmakers: state Sens. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) and Kyle McCarter (R-Vandalia), and state Reps. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) and David Reis (R-Olney).