Mayor and Community Leaders Collaborate to Put 1,000 Chicagoans on Pathways to Quality Careers
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today hosted more than 300 labor, community and business leaders at Malcolm X College to discuss his workforce initiative, the 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing campaign. In collaboration with World Business Chicago the 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing campaign is committed to connecting 1,000 Chicagoans to open manufacturing careers, through direct placements or linking residents who need additional skills to training and apprenticeship programs. Over the last three years, the manufacturing sector has curbed a 30-year decline in jobs, but there are not enough skilled workers to meet current demand.
“While the City of Chicago has a great past when it comes to manufacturing, we have an even greater future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “1000 Jobs and its partners play a vital role in closing both the skills gap and the opportunity gap in our workforce.”
With more than 20,000 open positions in manufacturing in the Chicagoland area, 1000 Jobs launched in January 2015 to address the growing workforce gap. 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing campaign is a demand-driven workforce development program that puts workers on a path to a manufacturing career, whether that be placement in open positions or training.
“Partnership between labor and business is essential to growing our economy in Chicago and closing the skills gap,” said Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “The 1000 Jobs Campaign is based on the simple premise that Chicagoans are ready to work, Chicago manufacturers are ready to put them to work, and the city is ready to facilitate an environment to make this happen. We collaborate with manufacturers and community organizations through the campaign to make connections that put people on pathways to careers.”
On average and compared to other industries, wages in the manufacturing industry are 27 percent higher.
“1000 Jobs is an important initiative for World Business Chicago,” said Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO of World Business Chicago. “Closing the skills gap and getting Chicagoans to work in these quality careers is essential to Chicago’s economic vitality.”
1000 Jobs partners include City of Chicago, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), City Colleges, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Plymouth Tube, JMC Steel Group, Ask Power, Skolnik, Manor Tool, Water Saver Faucets, ACME Industries, Grant Thornton LLP, Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance, IMA Education Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, and Bank of America.
1000 Jobs also works with five community based organizations embedded throughout Chicago to work with residents on the ground and spread the word about careers in manufacturing, ultimately putting people to work. Account Executives within the organizations work with job seekers individually to place them in jobs or connect them to training programs. These organizations include:
- Bethel New Life – a non-profit organization focused on bringing individuals and families out of poverty, as well as creating policies and instituting social reforms that have the power to uplift whole communities and give them a better life.
- Instituto Del Progresso Latino – an organization which aims to provide Latino and Latina immigrants with the tools they need to succeed.
- Kinzie Industrial Development Corporation – a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC), that seeks to strengthen companies in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor and to facilitate economic and community development.
- OAI, Inc. – a non-profit training and education agency focused on enhancing the manufacturing industry in the Millennium Reserve/Calumet Region.
- The Safer Foundation – a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce the rate of recidivism through a variety of services that help people with criminal records become employed and upstanding, law-abiding citizens.
“This campaign has been a wonderful experience,” said Pamela Williams, Account Executive at OAI, Inc. “There’s a tremendous lack of awareness about the availability or quality of manufacturing careers. The vast majority of the applicants I’ve worked with have been excited and enthusiastic once they learn about the opportunities – it’s been really gratifying helping Southland residents take the first steps to better careers and lives.”
Interested job seekers should visit www.1000jobscampaign.com to get connected to Account Executives and take the first step to a quality career in manufacturing.