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The Chicago Federation of Labor Workforce and Community Initiative and Jobs to Move America (JMA) are excited to announce they were part of a team that has received a $4 million award to focus on manufacturing workforce development in Chicago.

The America’s Promise Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor presents a unique opportunity to further the goals of JMA and the CFL Initiative by investing in recruitment and training in manufacturing for communities who need it the most.

The grant will open the door to training for workers historically underrepresented in the manufacturing sector, including women, African-Americans, Latinos, veterans, formerly incarcerated and long-term unemployed individuals. The grant will serve over 700 people, helping approximately 75 percent of them receive training and good jobs at regional companies. The remaining 25 percent will be able to upgrade their skills on the job for a chance to advance in their careers.

“We are doing more than simply administering job training. We are empowering workers that are traditionally undervalued by providing the 21st-century skills that are required for a sustainable, productive career in manufacturing. Moreover, through the America’s Promise Grant, Chicago is setting the precedent for collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships between workers, employers and communities.” Jorge Ramirez, President of the CFL Initiative.

The Calumet Manufacturing Initiative, which was awarded the grant, includes the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, the Calumet Area Industrial Commission, Daley College, Prairie State College, IBEW and SMART among others. JMA’s role in this grant includes sector strategy development, employer engagement, and career pathway development.

“We are excited to be a partner of the Calumet Manufacturing Initiative and look forward to seeing this four-year investment result in a long-term change for the community,” said Jake Williams, Senior Workforce Development Coordinator for JMA.

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