Ted Wysocki, President & CEO
March 30th is the 12th anniversary of the 2001 incorporation of the Local Economic and Employment Development Council as an independent corporation. Last June, we celebrated our original founding in 1982 as an affiliate of the New City YMCA (now still a vacant lot at Clybourn & Halsted) with a new brand. Now doing business as North Branch Works, we continue to build upon our 30-year history of integrating economic and employment development to connect industry and community in Chicago’s North River and Addison Industrial Corridors.
I was in DC the week March 20th to attend the annual conference of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, for which I am a long-serving board director. The theme of this year’s conference was – A Just Economy: Building Community Prosperity from the Ground Up. I had the opportunity to share our work in a workshop on Building Economically Sustainable Communities.
There were a number of speakers but I want to share with you some remarks by Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin. She offered the best explanation, that I have ever heard a public official offer, of why community economic development should be a priority:
“Location presents thorny challenges for many low-wage workers. Within metropolitan areas, jobs are not spread out evenly and job creation tends to be depressed in low-income communities. As a result, many low-wage workers face long commutes and serious commuting difficulties due to less reliable transportation and an inadequate transportation infrastructure.
Traditionally, many workers find jobs through social networks and through personal connections that they have to the labor market. But, because low-income individuals are typically less mobile, more isolated, and less socially connected than other people, they are often left out of the social networks that, in practice, lead to jobs for most Americans.
Among those responding to these challenges are innovative local practitioners who are implementing programs designed to expand job opportunities for low-wage workers…. Community-based organizations like many of those represented in this room will need to consider how to work with low-wage workers to bridge information gaps by expanding workers’ networks, providing legitimate information, and identifying new job opportunities.”
This well states the goal of our long-standing efforts to encourage business growth for local jobs. As the economy slowly recovers, please contact us with your job openings so we can identify qualified candidates on our job matching website: WorkLocal.org. If you are searching for expansion space, please contact us so we can identify sites and buildings in our corridor that could meet your needs.
We remain committed to connecting you so you can grow and our local economy can prosper. North Branch Works!
You can find Governor Raskin’s full remarks, “Focusing on Low- and Moderate-Income Working Americans”, at: http://t.co/VkZdtYMYfS