04202021CM0193 rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) to identify and report racial bias in hiring processes that rely on artificial intelligence to determine suitable applicants passed out of Senate committee Tuesday afternoon.

“We work every day to monitor and root out systemic racial bias in our institutions, but we also need to make sure we’re addressing it in our technology,” Connor said. “If companies are using systems that are inadvertently singling out people of color and keeping them from opportunities they deserve, we need to know and we need to put an end to it.”

Many large companies use some form of AI in their hiring processes. Applicants record answers to a series of questions and submit them to be analyzed by the company’s AI software. Algorithms evaluate facial expressions, word choice, body language and vocal tone, to decide which applicants advance.

For companies that rely solely on AI screenings of these videos to select candidates, House Bill 53 requires that the race and ethnicity of applicants, both those hired and those rejected, is collected and reported. If passed, this legislation would require these reports to be sent to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, where the data would be analyzed and shared with the Governor and General Assembly.

The legislation remains in the Senate for further discussion.

Category: Press Releases

Connor Lion Electric rJOLIET – Lion Electric Company, a Canadian-based electric vehicle company, will be building its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Joliet State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) announced Friday morning.

“This partnership will let Lion Electric and Will County look toward the future together,” Connor said. “By bringing hundreds of jobs to the Joliet area to manufacture zero-emission electric vehicles, we are working toward a stronger economy and a healthier environment for us all.”

Lion Electric will be investing $70 million in the facility, which will be the largest of its kind in the nation. Nearly 750 new jobs will be created as a result of the move as well, and the facility is projected to produce 20,000 electric vehicles annually.

“Thanks to Lion Electric, Will County is not only going to be a hub for transportation, but will now be a center for innovation,” said Connor.

The plant is anticipated to come online in the second half of 2022.

Category: Press Releases

jamie street dQLgop4tnsc unsplash rLOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) is promoting Work Zone Awareness Week in an effort to remind Illinoisans to take extreme caution as the Illinois Department of Transportation begins a new construction season.

“We’re no strangers to construction projects in the Joliet area, and it’s easy to become impatient when those projects are ongoing or we have to drive through a work zone on a day to day basis,” said Connor. “We have to stay alert, though, because even one moment of inattention can cost someone their life.”

Work Zone Awareness Week is meant to honor of those who have died in work zones and to raise awareness going into the summer construction season. Joliet is one of many cities across the state undergoing major construction projects beginning this summer, and residents are encouraged to continue to be wary of work zones even after the close of Work Zone Awareness Week.

“With a little extra patience and diligence, we can ensure that everyone gets home safely at night,” said Connor.

On average, Illinois sees 6,400 work zone crashes every year, resulting in 1,700 injuries and 34 deaths. Those who wish to learn more can visit IDOT’s Work Zone page.

Category: Press Releases

High school students maskedLOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) congratulates 301 high school students in the 43rd District who were named 2021-22 Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in approximately the top 10% of the state’s high school seniors from 676 high schools in all 102 counties. Selection is based on a combination of standardized test scores and class rank or unweighted GPA at the end of the student’s junior year. ISAC works in conjunction with the students’ high school guidance counselors to determine the winners.

“I couldn’t be prouder to recognize these outstanding students and all of the hard work they’ve put in,” Connor said. “It’s been a difficult year and these students, their families, and our teachers and school administrators all deserve congratulations on their dedication.”

The scholars include students from Joliet Township High School Central, Joliet Township High School West, Romeoville High School, Lockport East High School and Bolingbrook High School.

Recipients of the award will receive a congratulatory letter from ISAC, and a Certificate of Achievement will be sent to their high school. State Scholars will also receive a digital badge issued by ISAC that can be displayed on online profiles, exhibited on social media, and shared with prospective colleges and employers.

More information about the State Scholar program can be found at ISAC’s website.

Category: Press Releases

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District Office:
20660 Caton Farm Road, Unit D
Crest Hill, IL 60403
(815) 207-4445

Springfield Office:
M122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8800

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