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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:48pm
Thu Aug 11, 2016

Chicago Urban League Unveils 10-Year Blueprint For Dismantling Structural Racism

The Chicago Urban League released a 10-year blueprint Wednesday to undo structural racism in the city and create more equitable education, employment and economic development systems for African-American residents living in the most disadvantaged communities.

Chicago Urban League officials released the plan as the organization commemorates its 100th anniversary.

"Our vision is that by 2026, residents of every community area in Chicago will have access to the services and supports they need not just to succeed, but to really thrive as members of the greater Chicago community," said Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, vice president and executive director of the Chicago Urban League's Research and Policy Center.

"The league's 10-year plan is a focused effort that lays out our commitment to making racial equity a reality. When this happens, it sets the stage for a stronger African-American community and that, in turn, makes a stronger Chicago."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:31pm
Tue Aug 2, 2016

Low-Wage Workers To Push For 'Inclusive Prosperity' At Fight for $15 National Convention

The first-ever nationwide Fight for $15 convention will be held next week in Richmond, Virginia. Low-wage workers will call attention to economic and racial justice issues, including "the enduring effects of slavery on black workers." Progress Illinois talked with a Chicago worker who plans to attend the two-day event.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:13am
Wed Jul 6, 2016

Job Barriers Facing Ex-Prisoners Could Cost U.S. Economy At Least $78 Billion

U.S. economic growth suffers when former prisoners and convicted felons are locked out of the labor market, a new study shows.

Employment barriers faced by former offenders resulted in the estimated loss of 1.7 million to 1.9 million workers in 2014, reducing the overall U.S. employment rate by almost 1 percentage point, according to the report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

That translates into a $78 billion to $87 billion loss in annual gross domestic product (GDP) for the United States.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Tue Jun 21, 2016

Kids Count Report: Child Well-Being A Mixed Bag In Illinois

A new report shows some good and bad news on how children are faring in Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:12pm
Fri Jun 17, 2016

Former Old Country Buffet Workers Sue Over Sudden Layoffs At Chicago Restaurant

Former workers of a now-closed Old Country Buffet in Chicago are suing for back pay compensation after the restaurant abruptly shut down in early March.

Four former employees of the shuttered Old Country Buffet, located at 6125 N. Lincoln Ave., filed a federal lawsuit in April against the restaurant's operator, Texas-based Food Management Partners.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, alleges the company failed to notify employees about the layoffs 60 days before closing the restaurant on March 7. Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a 60-day layoff notice is required when a business closing will result in the loss of 50 or more job positions that required more than 20 hours a week. 

At the now-closed Old Country Buffet on Lincoln Avenue, there were 57 employees who worked more than 20 hours a week, according to the lawsuit.  

"A number of the people who worked there were employed for over ten years," said Carolyn Morales with Arise Chicago, a worker center assisting the laid off Old Country Buffet workers. "This is not high school students' part-time job. This is people's profession."

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