tradeswomenCHICAGO – In support of tradeswomen-led efforts to train and support the entry of more women into infrastructure and construction jobs, State Senator Willie Preston commends a $1.35 million federal investment to the Illinois Department of Labor to fund the undertaking.

“As a small business owner of a construction firm, I am excited to see an industry diversified that typically lacks opportunities for women,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “This federal grant is a huge win for Illinois in dismantling systemic barriers for women and creates equitable pathways for communities that have historically left behind.”

A $1.3 million federal grant to the Illinois Department of Labor will help bring more women into the construction industry, where they make up barely 4% of the workforce nationwide. The funding to the Illinois Department of Labor will allow Chicago Women in Trades to provide specific guidance on program design and best practices to construction companies, unions, public bodies, and other stakeholders to promote workforce equity on infrastructure projects. The funding seeks to promote gender equity and inclusion in the male-dominated field through established equity goals while prioritizing local federally financed infrastructure projects and empowering more women to join their local workforce.

“Creating more pathways into the trades industry has been a priority of mine before I took on my role in the Senate,” said Preston. “I will continue to fight for programs that support our local commerce, our trades and underserved communities. The support for this grant alone is great progress, but there is much more work to be done on the ground now to see a transformation in the construction and infrastructure workforce to include more women.”

Category: Press Releases

B2BGrantsCHICAGO – With support from State Senator Willie Preston, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently announced the latest round of Back to Business grants awarded to businesses in the restaurant industry.

“Our local small owned business are the heart and soul of our communities,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “Many of our restaurants in the 16th District took a big hit during the pandemic, but with the support of this program they have been able to continue to provide for our community.”

The Back to Business grant program provides recovery grants for small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on businesses in the hardest hit industries. Through the Back to Business and Business Interruption Grant programs, DCEO has provided more than $535 million to more than 15,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic.

Eight area restaurants in Preston’s district will receive a combined total of $300,000 through this round of Back to Business grants.

“The Back to Business grants recognize the significance of supporting small, local owned businesses throughout the state,” said Preston. “I will continue to fight for programs that support our local commerce.”

For more information about B2B grants visit DCEO’s website.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Willie Preston and little leauge players at the Field of DreamsCHICAGO - State Senator Willie Preston gave local south side high school baseball players a surprise of a lifetime with a trip to one of the most famous baseball fields last weekend.

“I am pleased I was able to bring such an amazing opportunity to the players and coaches from the 16th District,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “I want our next generation of kids to know that there is life beyond our neighborhood and that we believe in them and will support them by investing in their dreams and futures.”

At 6 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, teammates from Leo, Oaklawn, Simeon, Perspective’s, and Lindblom high schools packed on to a bus to play in State Senator Willie Preston’s Field of Dreams All Star Game at the legendary Field of Dreams from the 1989 film. The baseball players were also able to meet and train with professional baseball players and coaches.

Preston has developed a strong relationship with the schools and the administration in his district. As a newly elected official, he has supported back to school drives, food giveaways, and other community events.

“I am so proud of these young, talented men and their dedication both on and off the field,” said Preston. “Being able to show them they matter and so do their futures is exactly why we brought them to the Field of Dreams.”

Category: Press Releases

Preston Field Of Dreams

Preston also encourages media to attend farewell and return of team

CHICAGO – State Senator Willie Preston will transport a group of Chicago youth Little League players to the original Field of Dreams from the 1989 movie in Dyersville, Iowa for an All Star Game where they will have the opportunity to train with and gain exposure from major baseball influencers.

Preston is inviting media to attend the farewell and return of the team’s trip from 8500 S. Pulaski Rd, or to the game itself. Members of the media are encouraged to meet the kids, their families and Senator Preston just before 7 a.m. or upon their return around 7 p.m.

WHO: State Senator Willie Preston and children ages 13-18 in partnership with Northwestern Hospital

WHAT: Little League All Star Game for training and exposure with influential sports personnel

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: 28995 Lansing Rd., Dyersville, Iowa 52040

The bus will leave from 8500 S. Pulaski at 7 a.m. and return at 7 p.m. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

Category: Press Releases
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Office Info

District Office:
8500 Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60652
(773) 912-6255

Springfield Office:
Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring St.
Section C, Room N
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607