Nearly every mayoral candidate has been talking about the need to improve public investment in career technical training. While we are thrilled that issues close to us have made it to the forum platforms, it has become clear that most of the candidates don't understand the complexity and nuance involved in actually delivering on what they are promising. To address this knowledge deficit, leaders from the Ministers for Manufacturing Committee partnered with Rev. Dr. Byron Brazier of BSD Industries to host a closed-door manufacturing industry information meeting on January 29th.
The intent was to provide a more detailed description of the industry and the kind of programs and solutions that are worthy of public investment by the new mayor's team. Candidates Paul Vallas, Dr. Willie Wilson, and senior staffers from Lori Lightfoot's campaign joined. After the presentations, there was vigorous discussion and commitments from the candidates to make industrial policy and manufacturing a policy priority in their administrations. Gery Chico, Toni Preckwinkle, and Susana Mendoza all indicated that they wanted to attend but had schedule conflicts. Bill Daley's schedule did not allow him to join our session, but published an ambitious manufacturing policy pledge a few days before our event and has consistently indicated his interest in touring our program.