Workforce Training Recruits Candidates to Build Obama Presidential Center

Photo provided by Sofia Melgoza
Photo provided by Sofia Melgoza

Workforce Training Recruits Candidates to Build Obama Presidential Center

Alderwomen Jeanette Taylor (20th), Leslie Hairston
(5th), and Stephanie Coleman (16th), hosted Unity in the Community Resource Fair on September 11th for South Side residents. The fair provided demonstrations of skilled trades for residents to better understand construction trade jobs available in the community, including with We Can Build It, an Obama Foundation initiative to increase diverse and residential participation in the construction of the Obama Presidential Center and in the building trades generally.

As outlined earlier this year as part of its workforce commitments, the Obama Foundation has set a goal for 35% of its construction workforce to come from targeted areas on the South and West Sides of Chicago. The Foundation also committed to awarding 50 percent of the subcontracting packages to diverse vendors, exceeding the City’s goal of 26 percent and 6 percent commitment to minority and women owned businesses (MBE/ WBE) vendors.

“The pandemic has further amplified the persistent disparities in our communities,” said Alderwoman Leslie Hairston. “We are thankful for the great partnership of local community organizations who can bring us closer to closing these gaps and providing services and resources to communities who need it most.”

Throughout the day, community members also had access to writing workshops, daycare center resources, COVID-19 vaccinations, and mental health resources among other services to support in securing employment.

The fair was in partnership with a number of community organizations, including: Cisco, City Colleges of Chicago Kennedy-King, Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, Howard Brown Health, Jesse White, Lakeside Alliance, Metropolitan Family Services, Metropolitan Healthcare Services, Obama Presidential
Center, St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, UChicago Medicine, and We Can Build It.

“We are thrilled that our community is able to convene in this way,” said Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor. “We realize that our communities need access to important resources to secure employment and to understand the opportunities available to them — including building a historic presidential center right in our backyards.”

Alderwoman Stephanie Coleman added, “We have strong community partners who are invested in bolstering opportunities for our communities. Our hope is that the fair widens the community’s perspective of opportunities, services, and resources available and mobilizes them to utilize them.”

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