Labor builds the foundation of the economy

Construction Industry Service Corporation

Under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s leadership, Chicago has seen a construction renaissance, hosting a record number of building permits, a billion dollar renovation of CTA infrastructure, as well as the billion dollar-plus redevelopment program for both Navy Pier and the McCormick Square neighborhood. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

CHICAGO — In recent years, Chicago has become first in a lot of areas.

In the short list of accomplishments, Chicago is No. 1 for corporate relocations, as well as direct foreign investments. In fact, Chicago’s economy grew faster than the United States of America and faster than New York and D.C.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel pointed out Chicago’s successes aren’t done with Wall Street or the federal government. “It’s the men and women that make up this room driving that economic growth,” he said to applause.

Emmanuel’s audience didn’t have to be convinced by his remarks. They were members of Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO), which makes up signatory contractors and their members.

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CISCO Executive Director Dan Allen added another Chicago accomplish. “Chicago was recently named as a top city for the most profitable start up companies in the country.

To put that into construction terms — the city had a post-recession record of 48 crane permits operating in 2016. “Each crane represents hundreds of union construction jobs helping to revitalize middle-class families,” Allen explained.

Emmanuel was CISCO’s keynote speaker for its 29th annual Luncheon.

Under Emmanuel’s leadership, Chicago has seen a construction renaissance, hosting a record number of building permits, a billion dollar renovation of CTA infrastructure, as well as the billion dollar-plus redevelopment program for both Navy Pier and the McCormick Square neighborhood.

Construction Industry Service Corporation

While speaking at a recent CISCO event, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said making Chicago an economic success makes everyone involved a winner. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Emmanuel called Chicago’s economic strategy the 5 T’s: talent, training, transportation, technology and transparency.

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“I fundamentally believe we cannot have a 21st century economy running on a 20th century foundation. Every investment you make an infrastructure leads to greater economic growth,” Emmanuel said. That growth in Chicago is done with the best trained, best educated workforce in the building trades, he added.

Acknowledging differences, the mayor discussed the conflict between his office and the building trades, but he hopes it’s in the past. “I wasn’t [the building trades] choice in 2011. Straight up — I wasn’t. They weren’t sure what they were getting. They’re still not sure,” he said to laughs.

There were lawsuits over McCormick Place and heated meetings with leaders of various building trades. But in the end, both sides, and the City of Chicago, came out winners.
“It was because Labor was my partner in solving a problem, removing a cloud, and helping us bring business to McCormick Place,” he explained.

Student awarded for grades, achievements

The Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) awarded six scholarships

The Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) awarded six scholarships to students April 22 during its annual luncheon event. Scholarship winners include, front row, from left, Samantha Perez (4-year); Rilea Petersen (4-year), and Kaitlin Boers (2-year). Back row, from left, Daniel Garza (continuing education); Kyle Zielinski (4-year), and Diana Martinez (2-year). Photo courtesy of CISCO

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

SCHAUMBURG — For 12 years, the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) has been helping the families of building trade union members and employees of union contractors by awarding scholarship for high school seniors planning to attend 4-year and community colleges.

This year, CISCO was able to expand the program and add an another 4-year scholarship. CISCO Executive Director Dan Allen said these students accomplishments are a “tremendous reflection on our young adults and the children of our construction workers and contractors.”

This years winners include Samantha Perez (4-year scholarship), a senior at Downers Grove South High School. Her father Paul is a member of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Local 558. Perez intends to attend North Central College in Naperville and study Actuarial Science.

Rilea Peterson (4-year scholarship) is a student at Richmond-Burton Community High School in Richmond. Her father Shane is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. Peterson will be attending Olivet Nazarene University to study Psychology with minors in Spanish and Dietetics.

Kaitlin Boers (community college scholarship) is graduating from LaMoille Community High School. Her father Brent is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. Boers will be attending Black Hawk College in Moline to study Physical Therapy.

Daniel Garza (continuing education scholarship) is a member of LiUNA Local 4. He currently is attending Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana where he is studying Accounting and Economics.

Kyle Zielinski (4-year scholarship) is graduating from Prospect High School and will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison to major in Biology/Biochemistry. His father Jim is employed by George Sollitt Construction Co., who is signatory with the Carpenters, Laborers and Operators.

Diana Martinez (community college scholarship) will be graduating from Argo Community High School to attend Saint Xavier University to study Pre-Medicine. Her father Miguel is a member of Carpenters Local 1027.

Scholarships for high school seniors attending a 4-year university are $2,000/year; scholarships for students attending a community college are $1,000/year; scholarships for continuing education are $1,000/year.

McCormick Place is taking off

McCormick Place

McCormick Place is undergoing some big and exciting changes, a new brand, new logo, and new name — McCormick Square. And have you heard about this museum that is looking to use space at McCormick Place? A little place called the Lucas museum. Photo courtesy of CISCO

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

SCHAUMBURG — As a major contributor, not to the Chicago economy, but to the region and the entire state, McCormick Place is not slowing down anytime soon.

“We’re in a great place to win moving forward because of the momentum in the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the bigger plans, that are underway today,” said Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) Chief Executive Officer Lori Healy during the April 22 Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) annual luncheon event.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

An artist rendering of the yet unbuilt Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, bottom photo, could find its home on the McCormick Campus, which is a very preliminary proposal. Rendering via Lucas Museum of Narrative Art website

Some of those ‘bigger plans’ revolve around the newly released news the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art could build on the campus. “I want to be clear,” Healy said, “this is a very preliminary proposal,” but exciting none the less.

What she can talk about is their new brand, new logo, and new neighborhood name — McCormick Square.

McCormick Place

McCormick Place has grown to become the premier convention center in North America. Photo courtesy of McCormick Place

“At MPEA, we’re officially saying goodbye to McPier, and changing it over to McSquare,” she stressed.

What does it all mean for Chicago? “It means more jobs, more tax revenues, more visitors, and an enhanced, international profile, which continues to be so important as we continue to attract international visitors. We need to evolve to stay successful,” Healy explained.

The McCormick Campus has a lot going on. There is a yet-to-be named event center to being constructed, the result of a public private partnership with DePaul University, scheduled to open in September 2017. Also being constructed is Chicago’s only Marriott Marquis Hotel with 1,206 rooms, 90,000 square feet of meeting space, and a roof top bar on the 33rd floor.

The newly expanded the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place is directly connected to the convention center.

“We provide permanent jobs for almost 3,000 people on our campus. When we’re done with the first phase of our construction project, we’re going to be up to 3,500 permanent jobs on our campus,” she added.