There is nothing better after a tough session in Springfield than a great summer spent traveling the district and talking to you, the people that make east central Illinois work. One of the coolest parts about my job is the people from all different walks of life I get to meet, the variety of industries I get to learn about, and the issues I get a tutorial on. This week my travels covered a large part of the District and many different segments of our great State.
Last Friday, I was honored to make another check presentation from DCEO and the Illinois Manufacturers Association for the ETIP program to an amazing business in the Champaign portion of the 104th District. Litania Sports manufactures sports equipment and supplies sport event venues with set ups for all levels of athletic competition, all over the world.
Litania does events such as a High School Football setup for those Friday night lights at a high school in Texas, or maybe outfitting a track at a major university in California. It is so cool to have one of the leaders in athletic equipment residing right here in Champaign, IL. They will use the ETIP program to continue to work closely with partners like Parkland College to find innovative and efficient ways to train their workforce of tomorrow. Litania is a true success story that our area can be proud of.
Tuesday was an exciting day. It began with a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mental Health Center being built on the campus of the VA here in Danville. We must strive to provide adequate resources for mental health treatment and to ensure our heroes that served America in uniform are taken care of when they come home. This new center is a vital addition to our community, and I was honored to give the keynote speech at the ceremony. I am very excited that this resource will now be available in the Danville area.
From the VA in Danville we traveled to the Farnsworth Group in Champaign. Farnsworth is an engineering firm based in Illinois that does business across the nation. I listened to a great discussion about how the capital plan that we passed in the spring session will positively affect the firm. This plan will have bring positive business to firms like theirs across the state as there is now a sustainable infrastructure plan in Illinois.
On Tuesday evening, I hosted my second town hall in Danville. We had a good turnout and it was a great opportunity to talk to constituents about the impact of the legislative session and to be able to gather some valuable feedback for round two.
On Thursday, I had the honor of speaking to the Illinois Soybean Board of Directors. Not long ago, I held a seat on this board, and it was great to be back among old friends. ISA is a great organization, and my experience serving on that board greatly broadened my perspective on issues that we faced and had a big impact on my decision making during my first session at the Capitol. It is also a top priority for me to do the best job I can representing the Illinois Farmers, so the feedback for a room full of engaged soybean producers was priceless.
Rounding out the week was a trip to ADM in Decatur for a tour of their facility and an awards ceremony where I was honored to receive the Friend of Infrastructure Award from the Transportation for Illinois Coalition. This was a big highlight for me, as one of my main areas of focus when I ran for State Representative was supporting transportation infrastructure.
Seeing ADM up close and the commercial activity taking place there drives home the idea that Illinois is primed to leverage our geographical location to our great economic advantage if we are willing to invest in infrastructure. Touring the intermodal ramp where products destined for shipment around the Midwest are being shipped in from all over the globe and products manufactured in Decatur headed for Rotterdam are being shipped out, it verifies that this is a viable economic plan and a great opportunity for Illinois.
This State and the opportunities that exist here continue to amaze me. We need to take advantage of creative solutions to support job creation across the state. As long as I have the honor of representing you, I promise that I will continue my best to seek out those opportunities and position our district to maximize these decisions. Illinois has all the resources for a thriving economy, but we all need to come together to find the best way forward.