CFL News
January 06, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Training Workers

A joint letter to the editor from CFL President Jorge Ramirez and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper commends the City Colleges focus on job training

Source: Chicago Tribune

By Jorge Ramirez and Jerry Roper

Labor and business join together in support of the plan by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman to drive job creation for Chicagoans by revamping the way our City Colleges system trains students to meet the needs of our economy.

The Chicago area has around 10 percent unemployment, but more than 100,000 available jobs. A major reason many of those jobs remain unfilled is that occupational training is out of step with the needs of employers. Employers bring workers from other states while Chicagoans go unemployed. Some companies move to cities with more qualified workers. This is unacceptable.

Both our students and our businesses would benefit from training Chicagoans to meet the needs of the jobs available today and, more important, the jobs of tomorrow.

The new effort by the City Colleges, under the mayor's leadership, will link curriculum with industry needs to establish industry-recognized certificates of economic value in growing fields, like health care, transportation and logistics.

Higher skills equal higher earnings potential for both employers and employees, both of which will keep Chicago's economy strong at a time of extreme global competitiveness.

Jorge Ramirez, president, Chicago Federation of Labor

Jerry Roper, president and CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce