The connection between quality
education and economic growth
is not merely a nice idea.

You may have seen them around town the Little Free Libraries filled with books, that neighbors may read and return for free. In 2014 Jake along with then Alderman Tom McNamara and Lauren Colleen of the Harlem School District started building and placing these libraries around our communities. Today Jake continues to build and place Little Free Libraries throughout the neighborhoods of Winnebago County. To Jake, education and learning should be as easy as walking half a block to pick up a new book to read and not limited to school buildings or college campuses.

The state of Illinois needs significant reforms in its education and training programs. When a candidate for State Representative has already started expanding education on a small, inexpensive scale, he deserves the chance to bring his passion for learning to the State House. Jake also believes job training is essential, as the head of Project First Rate one of his principal goals is to work with labor unions to ensure their apprentice programs’ graduates are learning the latest construction techniques.  These techniques will ensure the best possible craftsmen on our communities’ construction sites.

Today’s schools must educate our youth for tomorrow’s jobs, and the best jobs will require training beyond a High School diploma. Do the current members of Illinois’s House of Representatives understand this economic fact? Is the state of Illinois supporting our local school systems and colleges, so our schools are not just teaching students to get by but preparing students for excellent jobs in the Rockford region, that are currently going unfilled? Northern Illinois cannot afford a statewide education system that is stuck in the past and is not aggressively preparing our citizens for the challenging and high paying jobs of the 21st century.  The connection between quality of education and economic growth is not merely a nice idea, to Jake, it is a fact of life he is working with every single day.