On March 23, 2022, Alderman Michael Rodriguez, Ward 22 representing Little Village, North Lawndale and surrounding communities, submitted a resolution to endorse the Manufacturing Corporation Reinvestment Act (HR5124). In short, this resolution acknowledges:
- The importance of the intersection between manufacturing and education and career and technical education in the City of Chicago towards building a broad-based middle class in Chicago.
- The foundational work of the Manufacturing Connect program and the network of practitioners and allies part of the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC) to expand an inclusive manufacturing ecosystem in Chicago.
- Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s HR 5124 bill filed in the House of Representatives in August 2021 to expand inclusive and sustainable manufacturing development in communities across the country includes direct support for programs and initiatives that advance the objectives outlined in the bill.
Ald. Rodriguez’s resolution further seeks to establish a task force in Chicago to make recommendations informed by research and best-practices to ensure people, especially from low-income, BIPOC communities are able to successfully pursue and participate in high-quality careers and wealth creation opportunities in the manufacturing sector.
This resolution is a result of work of a long developing partnership with CMRC member, the Chicago Teachers Union. The CTU, supported by the CTU Foundation, has been a champion for expanding career and technical education programs for CPS students, recognizing that our youth benefit from having exposure, training and support for pursuing careers and college after high school. These type of programs have the potential to dramatically expand economic and social mobility opportunities for traditionally marginalized populations. In February 2022, CTU passed a resolution internally to support the HR 5124 bill and then committed their own resources to engage and outreach to Alderpersons to seek support for introducing and passing a resolution at the City Council level.
Manufacturing Renaissance and CTUF have convened an organizing committee to help ensure the successful passage of the resolution in City Council within coming months. We’ll have more information to share soon on how you can support this effort and let Chicago know that we want more manufacturing-related training, education and sustainable, economic development opportunities in our city.