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Illinois lawmaker pitches post-graduation scholarship to attract young professionals

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Friday, March 20, 2020  |  Article  |  By Kevin Bessler | The Center Square

Education--Higher (37) Spain, Ryan--State House, 73

An Illinois lawmaker is proposing a post-graduation scholarship program in an effort to keep young professionals from leaving the state.

State Representative Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, said the program would be funded by the Alliance of Community Foundations, which has created a scholarship program that is aimed at attracting young professionals with expertise in Illinois trades, such as agribusiness, food processing, biotechnology, healthcare and more.

“Illinois must be creative and aggressive in attracting and retaining the next generation of leaders for our state,” Spain said.

Spain said community foundations will be able to raise private philanthropic dollars to award the post-graduation scholarships.

The scholarships would be used to pay down student loans in exchange for living and working in a local community for a set number of years.

He said the program was designed to attract people with expertise in Illinois trades such as agribusiness, biotechnology, healthcare and energy, among others.

House Resolution 646 has cleared committee and will go before the full House when lawmakers reconvene.