During an entertaining dialogue with talk show host Pat Whalen, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle emphasized regional economic development strategies and investing in employment and training programs as essential responses to systematic inequality.
Prior to her election, Cook County Government focused primarily on two issues: public health and public safety. Shortly after taking office, President Preckwinkle elevated economic development by creating the first-ever Cook County Bureau of Economic Development and empowering it to carry out regional strategies.
Before entering public service, President Preckwinkle worked in economic development for the City of Chicago and as an advocate for workforce development programs as the Executive Director of the Chicago Jobs Council.
She knows that creating high-quality jobs that do not require advanced degrees strengthens the local economy and supports racial equity by providing people with a pathway out of poverty.
President Preckwinkle understands that sustainable economic development requires investments in infrastructure. Indeed, one of her top concerns is digital equity.
Currently, one-fourth of families in Cook County do not have access to broadband during a time of remote learning. And even if families have access to broadband, the cost of signing up for monthly Internet service and purchasing devices may prevent them from accessing the Internet.
Along with prioritizing workforce and economic development, President Preckwinkle highlighted her work on violence prevention and restorative justice issues.
She also discussed her support for a guaranteed basic income program, which stems from our workforce development and anti-poverty programs not being designed to meet the needs of people with multiple barriers to jobs and training opportunities.
We’d also like to thank President Preckwinkle for coming to our service area and being a champion for economic and workforce development programs.
We look forward to working with you to ensure the North Branch supports Cook County’s regional economic development strategies and remains a great place to work and do business.