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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman is recognizing and thanking the Illinois National Guard for its determination and    service to Illinoisans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a member of the General Assembly and an Illinoisan, I cannot thank our troops enough for their hard work and dedication to this state,” Ellman said. “These young women and men have risked    their lives day in and day out to ensure we all stay safe and    healthy.”

Illinois’ mobile testing operation will be expanded to twelve COVID-19 mobile testing sites, operated by the National Guard. The sites will offer mobile testing to residents in the hardest hit communities and will visit other areas in need of more testing, like homeless services centers and nursing homes. The sites offer drive-through and walk-up tests free of charge to any Illinoisans who wants to be tested.

“Over the past few months, these troops have ensured that thousands of Illinoisans have been able to receive COVID-19 tests,” Ellman said. “Illinois has some of the best testing numbers and positivity rates in the nation. I have no doubt that this was made possible by the assistance of the National Guard.”

Testing has played a critical role in allowing for the safe reopening of the Illinois economy. Illinois has been persistently investing in accessible testing for all Illinoisans, which will allow communities across the state to stay on a course of recovery.

The governor’s announcement about the state’s mobile testing site expansion can be found here.

Individuals can find a nearby testing location visiting https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/testing-sites.

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NAPERVILLE – To support more young people entering the        field of education, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is announcing that two local high schools are set to receive an Education Career Pathways Grants from the Illinois State Board      of Education.

“Educators play some of the most import roles in our society. They prepare our children for the future,” Ellman said. “That’s why these grants are so important. They will help future educators develop the skills they need to be as effective as possible.”

DuPage Area Occupational Education System has been awarded nearly $250,000 that will be split between seven schools, including Wheaton North High School and Wheaton Warrenville South High School to help with developing Career and Technical Education programs to prepare students for careers in education.

CTE programs help students develop technical and employability skills while strengthening their core academic abilities to enable them to pursue higher education opportunities and succeed in the workforce. Students in CTE programs also have the opportunity to earn dual credit or credentials and certifications from partner institutions prior to high school graduation.

The programs will place a special focus on recruiting underrepresented students into education careers to help meet the high demand for teachers of color across Illinois.

“Students are successful when their teachers are successful,” Ellman said. “It’s time that we start investing in them.”

Nearly $2 million in total funding has been awarded to 11 Education for Employment Systems statewide to recruit and support future educators at 62 high schools and vocational centers across the state. For a full list of grant recipients or to learn more about career and college readiness programs in Illinois, visit www.ISBE.net/CTE.

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NAPERVILLE – The federal government has extended the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is encouraging local business owners to apply for the PPP and other forgivable loans through the Small Business Administration.

“Businesses of all sizes, in particular small local businesses, are facing unprecedented financial hardships,” Ellman said. “Many business owners are worried about what’s to come and if it will affect their ability to provide for their families. The Paycheck Protection Program helps give owners the ability to reestablish a level of stability.”

To help provide financial support to businesses, the Federal Treasury Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration extended the application period for the Paycheck Protection Program. Businesses can get up to $10 million in relief funding through the first come, first served program. Under the extended deadline, businesses must apply by Aug. 8.

The financial lifeline helps employers keep people on the payroll and pay overhead expenses. If used as intended, the loans don’t have to be repaid.

More than 27,000 Illinois businesses have already taken advantage of the loans – saving an estimated 1.36 million jobs – according to the Small Business Administration.

PPP loans have an interest rate of 1% and can be fully forgiven if they are used for payroll costs, rent, utilities or interest on mortgages. To find participating lenders, business owners and managers can visit the Small Business Administration’s website, found here.  

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NAPERVILLE – To highlight older adults who have contributed to their communities through service, education, the workforce or the arts, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is asking residents to submit their nominations to the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame.  

“In these uncertain times, I believe it’s important to acknowledge people whose service has a positive impact on the community,” Ellman said. “If you know an older adult who has made a difference in our community, please nominate them to the Hall of Fame.”

The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame celebrates outstanding accomplishments in community service, education, the labor force and the arts. Each year, four candidates—one from each category—are inducted.  

Eligibility is based on an individual’s past and present accomplishments, and the candidate must be a current Illinois citizen or a former citizen for most of their life. Posthumous nominees are also considered.  

Since its creation in 1994, 121 people have been inducted into the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame.

“Many older adults have been worried and isolated during this pandemic,” Ellman said. “Nominating a friend, mentor or loved one is a great way to show them support.”

The Illinois Dept. on Aging has extended the submission deadline through Monday, Aug. 31. Nominations may be submitted online or by calling the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966.

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