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Meet Illinois's first African-American lieutenant governor

By Sneha Choudhary
-    Feb 22, 2024
Credit : GMI Post

The 48th lieutenant governor of Illinois, Juliana Stratton, has made significant strides, etching her name in history not only as the fourth woman to hold the position but also as the first African-American woman to do so. Her tenure, spanning nearly half a decade, has been marked by a relentless commitment to public service and transformative leadership.

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton

In her multifaceted role, Lt. Governor Stratton has championed initiatives aimed at empowering women economically and fostering a robust teacher workforce pipeline. Additionally, she has chaired the military-economic development committee, demonstrating her prowess in driving strategic initiatives forward.

For her visionary leadership, she is getting recognized with the lifetime achievement award this year in the 5th Annual Rich Township Black History Awards Gala - the largest event of its kind in Illinois, joined by over 700+ business leaders, elected officers, and civic leaders.

Last fall, she led a delegation comprised predominantly of women to the 53rd Annual Midwest U.S-Japan Association Conference in Tokyo, where she highlighted Illinois’s newfound strength as a growing green economy equipped to contribute to the global clean energy revolution.

In light of the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act passed by Stratton’s administration, which ensures aims to achieve 100% carbon-free power by 2045, and the Reimagining Energy and Vehicles (REV) Program that incentivizes EV production, the state aims to reinvigorate its decades-long strength in manufacturing and capitalize on its central location and highly skilled workforce to embrace EV manufacturing.

“The Japanese are interested in the fact that we are on the path of a 100-percent clean energy future,” Stratton was quoted shortly after the event. During the conference, she also highlighted the interest of major Japanese automotive manufacturers like Mitsubishi and Toyota in working with Illinois to help the state achieve the goal of one million EVs on the road by the end of 2030, signaling a paradigm shift in transportation and environmental sustainability.

Stratton and her delegation have been instrumental in pushing Illinois’s business attractiveness to the Japanese – one of the state’s top foreign investment partners – especially the qualifications and skills of its workforce. The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act dedicates more than $80 million annually to developing the efficiency of workers in the solar and energy efficiency industries. “We have the best job force for the jobs of tomorrow,” Stratton said.

Stratton’s confidence in fulfilling her administration’s “commitment to cleaner, greener energy and travels across the state so that all communities can see and feel the impact,” making her the latest champion in Illinois’s energy transition efforts.

Article Tags: US, Illinois, Women

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