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The Politics of Economic Need in Post war Japan

We see this same gap in the kinds of employment opportunities across Chicago—middle-wage jobs and jobs that require a high school diploma plus additional training have become harder to find. Recent analysis showed metropolitan Chicago’s job growth since 1980 has been concentrated in low-skilled and high-skilled occupations, as those in the middle erode.

Here in Chicago, residents of West Garfield Park have a life expectancy of less than 69 years, compared to an average life expectancy of 85 years in Chicago’s Loop. This significant disparity in life expectancy—16 years!—is more often seen across countries, not within the same city.

It was fitting that 75 speakers, 400 delegates and 66 international partners from 25 countries gathered together in Chicago at the Forum to discuss these issues and how cities can address them. Our city has come to recognize (in part through the findings of Metropolitan Planning Council’s Cost of Segregation study, Prosperity Now’s Racial Wealth Gap  and UIC’s Tale of Three Cities,  just to name a few) that we cannot be competitive as a region unless we address our “gap” of acute inequity. So how can we address what sometimes seems like an unbridgeable divide?

  • We need to reach far beyond the usual suspects. Aon and Accenture’s Chicago Apprenticeship Network links community college students, workforce- and education-oriented nonprofits and employers to advanced apprenticeship models—expanding talent pools and offering new career opportunities in our region’s most competitive sectors for Chicago-area students. Results are preliminary, but early indicators show that when companies tap into new sources of diverse talent, they also save significant resources by reducing turnover.