Protect existing assets and create new opportunities for growth. These are important starting points for fueling the local economy.

Jake Castanza hears from people throughout the district that Illinois needs to do more to rev the engine of local economies. This includes creating an environment that encourages successful local businesses and start-ups to stay and invest, as well as attracts outside companies.

Right now, the Rockford area is home to several high-ranking business clusters like aerospace, logistics, advanced manufacturing and healthcare. We need to keep these industries here and thriving. That means providing them with a trained local workforce and good places to live and enjoy life so they can recruit and retain good people. It also means maintaining the transportation infrastructure they need to succeed in the fast-moving world economy.

“When we give companies a good reason to keep and grow competitive jobs right here, we also give local workers a chance to join the middle class. That’s how we fuel healthy, sustainable economic growth.”

Closing the skills gap is a key to economic growth and something Jake is doing already through his work with Rebuild Rockford, a program that trains young women and men to enter the building trades and renovates abandoned homes at the same time.

Jake Castanza believes there is great potential for workers and families right here if the state legislature begins to get behind efforts—like Rebuild Rockford—that invest in real economic solutions. Moving forward, he is ready to push for those investments as State Representative for the 68th District.