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Mayor Richard M. Daley and Ford Motor Company officials today unveiled Ford’s 2011 Explorer, a “next generation” vehicle that will be built at the company’s South Side plant, creating about 1,200 new jobs for Chicago’s economy.
“When we look at the new Explorer, we see Chicago’s future,” Daley said in a
news conference held at Millennium Park.
“The fact that Ford chose its Chicago plant to manufacture the new Explorer shows that we have the local economic climate and the skilled workforce to meet the needs of 21st century global manufacturers,” he said.
The Mayor said that, as it has for most of Chicago’s history, the manufacturing sector will play a major role in helping the city flourish in the future.
“In these tough economic times, we are fully committed to work against the tide of job loss to create and retain good jobs for today and lay the foundation for the jobs of tomorrow,” he said.
Daley said that to ensure that Chicago continues to produce the workforce of the future, the City has re-focused its workforce and education programs.
Instead of looking separately at job training programs, public schools and the City Colleges, Chicago is coordinating these resources for the greatest impact on job training and re-training.
Ford has been a major presence in Chicago since 1924, when it opened the plant where the Explorer will be made to make Model T’s.
The City supported Ford’s efforts to modernize the South Side plant with $17 million in TIF funding for infrastructure improvements in the neighborhood and additional funding for job training and recruitment programs.
“We have always been willing to take on big projects, and there is no better time than right now to seize the opportunity to strengthen the position of manufacturing in our region, as Ford is helping us do,” Daley said.
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