Monday, January 03, 2011

Innovation Key to Chicago's Rebirth -Interesting Thoughts By Bruce Katz, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy

I spoke with a skilled tradesman, a journeyman electrician, who has been out of steady work since 2008. His nest egg is being eaten up by making his mortgage payments, paying his taxes, and working where and when he can find a job. His wife works. His kids attended Catholic Schools, until this year and that is no longer viable.

Foreclosures in Chicago are ballooning. Guys who once made $ 80,000 to $ 100,000 a year as skilled tradesmen are out of work. Shakman makes even asking a neighbor in a government agency about any job an impossibility, Machine? As if . . .

The Mayoral election will be that important. While everyone is tasking the atmosphere with questions about residency and race, Chicago is losing jobs faster than a fixed income victim feeding the slots at a casino.

Chicago Chamber of Commerce posted this interesting presentation by Bruce Katz. Give this a viewing.

Chicago must take the industries already here and send them around the world and then the world will return to Chicago. Chicago has skilled workers, innovative thinkers and an infrastructure that can be productive and competitive. Chicago had better select a Mayor who knows what is here already and send it forth.

There is a skilled electrician and thousands of other skilled people hungry for work.

The Chamber of Commerce is ready -

The Summit further concluded what the Chamber has been advocating for years- that the future of our economy depends on how we innovate and transition to a "knowledge-based" economy. This includes using innovation in processes and products to modernize traditional industries and supporting entrepreneurship to grow new sectors and firms.

The Chamber has long been a supporter of innovation, the knowledge based economy, and fostering entrepreneurship to help grow our economy. In 2006 the Chamber Foundation launched InnovateNow; a major, new regional economic development initiative focused on enhancing the region’s innovation and entrepreneurial capacity. The goal of InnovateNow is to transform our region into a center of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. For more info on InnovateNow visit

Learn more at InnovateNOW -

•Expand the Innovation Capacity of Illinois Businesses---Assist Illinois businesses in improving their capacity to develop new business models, products/services, and markets, especially small and mid-sized businesses in key sectors such as manufacturing that are facing global competition.
•Strengthen Public-Private Innovation Networks ---Promote stronger linkages and partnerships between Illinois businesses and universities, colleges, and federal laboratories to drive and support innovation in Illinois.
Expand the Innovation Talent Pool---Develop a new breed of innovation talent in Illinois that can start new businesses and drive innovation in existing businesses in Illinois. Innovate Now will promote the development of innovation talent at all education levels (P-20 pipeline) with stronger foundations in business as well as science, technology, engineering mathematics (STEM) and related creative and design fields. ( emphasis my own)

Where can we get more information?

Lance Pressl, Ph.D.
Foundation President
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
200 E. Randolph Street, Suite 2200
Chicago, Illinois 60601


Max Weismann said...


pathickey said...

You are much too kind, Max. However, at my full majestic height of 5'8," I am far too tall to qualify as Mayor of Munchkinland.