Mayor Emanuel, World Business Chicago, Chicago Federation Of Labor and Business Leaders Announce 1,000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing


Pilot Program Will Place at Least 1,000 Workers in Open Manufacturing Jobs over the Next Year; Manufacturing Jobs Provide Full-Benefits and Average Wages of over $70,000; Supporting Job Growth in Manufacturing is a Key Tenet of the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs

1000 Jobs Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago, Chicago Federation of Labor and business leaders today announced 1,000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing, an initiative in the Mayor’s 2015 Budget that will place workers in 1,000 open manufacturing jobs over the next year. The initiative will match a minimum of 1,000 qualified job seekers to open manufacturing jobs and link residents who need additional skills to training and apprenticeship programs that can result in full-time employment. 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.

“This program to connect 1,000 workers to manufacturing jobs builds on the work that we have done to reestablish Chicago as one of the country’s major manufacturing hubs,” Mayor Emanuel said. “From working to bring the Digital Manufacturing Lab to Chicago to

investing in College to Career manufacturing training programs at Richard J. Daley Community College, attracting new manufacturers to Chicago and training and supporting future manufacturing talent, we are helping to ensure that Chicago’s economy will continue to grow well into the future.”

The 1,000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing initiative will focus on three areas of need: raising awareness of manufacturing jobs in the City’s and the region’s manufacturing sector; increasing capacity at existing workforce organizations to help them to match job seekers to jobs and training programs that meet the needs of area manufacturing businesses; and facilitating coordination through a 1,000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing-branded web portal that will connect job seekers with training and employment opportunities.

Six organizations will receive new placement agents in order to help facilitate the job matches. They are:

  • Bethel New Life – a non-profit organization whose main focus is to bring individuals and families out of poverty, as well as to create policies and institute 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 whose main focus is to enhance the manufacturing industry in the Millennium Reserve/Calumet Region.
  • Calumet Area Industrial Commission – a non-profit organization that seeks to lead the industrial retention and expansion efforts of the Calumet area in order to create a thriving workforce environment.
  • 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 will oversee this piece of the program.

“These manufacturing jobs are available today, and manufacturers are engaging and ready to hire,” said Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO of World Business Chicago. “This program has the ability to grow our economy by $400 million and demonstrate to the world that Chicago is the world leader in the new era of manufacturing. That’s why World Business Chicago has partnered with local manufacturers and the workforce development system to promote the sector and strengthen the pool of potential employees.”

“According to the National Association of Manufacturers, one out of every six private-sector jobs in the United States is in manufacturing. The 1000 Jobs campaign is based on the simple premise that Chicagoans are ready to work, and Chicago manufacturers are ready to put them to work. Manufacturing jobs provide fulfilling employment, strong benefits and good pay. With thoughtful, collaborative action, we will develop a skilled workforce that will lead the industry into the 21st century, and in turn will strengthen our communities and the middle class,” said Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez.

The program also includes a focused effort to link returning citizens with criminal backgrounds seeking a second chance at the middle class to jobs in manufacturing.

“We are eager to partner in this initiative. Access to good jobs that pay decent wages is the most important factor to people with criminal backgrounds successfully transitioning back into society,” said Claudia Banks, Safer Foundations Director of Marketing and Communications. “These jobs will allow returning citizens to become contributing members of their families and communities, as well as positively impact our state economy instead of being a drain on it.”

1,000 Jobs will leverage training programs currently available through the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and the College to Careers program at City College of Chicago’s Daley College. Mayor Emanuel launched the College to Careers program in 2011 to help close the skills gap and ensure Chicago residents are prepared for jobs in high-growth industries with Daley College focused on jobs in advanced manufacturing.

“When you strengthen the manufacturing sector, you strengthen the middle class,” said Karin Norington-Reaves, CEO of Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. “This initiative will connect job seekers with the training programs and manufacturing employment opportunities that will help build our community.”

The initiative will be supported by $200,000 in the Mayor’s 2015 Budget along with more than $750,000 in funds and in-kind contributions raised by the WBC Advisory Council for Chicagoland Manufacturing – a group of 36 manufacturing industry leaders from across Chicagoland and chaired by the Mayor’s office – and in partnership with the Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Grant Thornton, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, Chicago Urban League, and over 50 more partners.

With average wages on average 27 percent higher than other industries in the region, manufacturing produces strong, middle-class jobs for Chicago residents; jobs in the Chicago region can provide workers with full-benefits and median wages of over $70,000 during their career. Currently, 14,000 small and medium manufacturers operate in Chicago, and over 100 have located or expanded in the City since the Mayor took office in 2011. Manufacturing is the second-largest sector in the Chicago region, employing more than 400,000 people.

“Atlas Tube offers competitive wages and fulfilling work,” said Atlas Tube President David W. Seeger. “Yet, we find a shortage of interested, qualified applicants for open positions. We’re excited to partner with World Business Chicago to promote the manufacturing industry, grow our local applicant pool, and, ultimately, grow our local economy.”

1,000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing is led by a steering committee that includes Mark Baker, Tempel Steel; Warren Young, ACME Industries; Steve Kase, Ask Power; Karin Norington-Reaves, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership; Matt Bruce, Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance; Jim Nelson, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; and Dean Bartles, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.

See 1000JobsCampaign.com for more. 

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Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives.