By working with Cook County, we merged three separate workforce boards to form the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. The merger produced $2 million in annual savings that were reinvested in strengthening the Partnership’s outreach to private employers. Since July 2012, more than 15,000 people have been placed in employment and nearly 19,000 are currently enrolled in training programs. In the second term, I will continue to support the efforts of the Partnership to place residents from across the city in quality jobs, including residents of predominantly Latino neighborhoods. Last year, we partnered with World Business Chicago to launch the 1000 Manufacturing Jobs initiative, which connects residents to well-paid open manufacturing jobs in the metropolitan area. By partnering with Instituto Del Progreso Latino, we will conduct extensive outreach in Latino communities to ensure that more are able to take advantage of manufacturing jobs opportunities.
I will collaborate with community organizations, CPS schools and City Colleges so Latinos and all those in need can have access to frequent, quality job training programs. There is a noticeable lack of bilingual literature advertising these public services. Through work with Spanish-speaking natives, I hope to create a broader awareness and interest across the city.
Access to jobs and contracts continues to be a major issue that affects many of our neighborhoods. That’s why I want to make sure that local companies have access to contract opportunities on public works projects in the city. I will work to ensure that bids for public works projects are unbundled, thus making it easier for smaller business to take advantage of contract opportunities. In addition, we have a responsibility to make sure the local Chicago companies get top priority in bidding for local projects. We know that this is one way to help businesses grow to the next level.
As Mayor I would create strategic partnerships with businesses, private foundations, and community–based organizations to create ladders of opportunity for quality jobs and successful careers and offer training based in our neighborhoods, not just downtown. In addition, I would increase public funding and work to get
greater commitments from private funders to promote adult education programs that help Latinos earn their high school diploma, learn English, and become familiar with new technology. These job trainings and educational opportunities must be accessible to non-English speakers, particularly in communities with large immigrant populations. I will also designate specific funding for training initiatives of those new to the workforce, specifically youth, new immigrants, and those newly eligible for the President’s deferred action initiatives. Lastly, I would support Latino entrepreneurs who will provide more jobs and opportunities for all Chicagoans by connecting them with financial assistance and providing financial education to assure their success.
We will make certain various jobs training programs are easily accessible for Latino students. We will increase the number of bi-lingual instructors to fully improve the educational experience of Latino students. Additionally, we will make certain the Latino community has input into the development of the jobs training curriculum.
My administration will examine the existing job training programs offered by the City and determine which programs are working the best. We will eliminate programs that are underperforming and allocate those resources to the best performing. Minorities suffer from higher unemployment rates and therefore our job training dollars should be aimed at assisting the most in need.