Manufacturing could be key in reviving the troubled Windy City, study says

CHICAGO – Earlier this summer, the Century Foundation published a report entitled “Revitalizing Manufacturing and Expanding Opportunities for Chicago’s Black and Latino Communities.” The study suggests Chicago area manufacturing may be crucial in reviving a demoralized city whose minority neighborhoods are  facing mounting violence and crime.

The report showed good-paying manufacturing and technology jobs are plentiful in the area, and the city’s public schools would be wise to tap into those untapped resources by expanding technical training at the high school levels.

Specifically, the study showed:

  • In Chicago, 36.6 percent of young black men and 19.8 percent of young Latino men were out of work and out of school, compared to just 5.3 percent of young white men.


  • Manufacturing jobs, many of them with few barriers to hire, could help ameliorate this employment inequity: there are two job openings in Chicago-area manufacturing for every worker being hired, and 16,000 unfilled openings in frontline production jobs that can be entered with only a high school degree.


  • Chicago needs to ramp up its education and training efforts, starting in high school, in order to change young people’s perspectives on the industry and offer them career-track opportunities. As recently as 2013, only 118 Chicago Public Schools students earned a manufacturing credential before graduating.

Read the report at The Century Foundation