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CHICAGO (CBS) – The city’s economy got another shot in the arm on Wednesday, when a Chicago-based consulting firm pledged a major expansion that will bring 400 to 600 jobs.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the announcement by Huron Consulting Group and Mayor Rahm Emanuel also includes a commitment to help train future employees through aid for a City Colleges job training program.
One of the mayor’s favorite terms is “doubling down” on Chicago, which explains why he was smiling when Huron did just that.
Huron, one of the fastest growing business consulting firms in the nation, was founded 10 years ago. Headquartered in Chicago, it has offices in 10 cities, and is pledging to expand its Chicago offices by 50 percent or more over the next three years.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
CEO James Roth said Chicago is where young people want to be.
“They have an environment here that works, not just in terms of livability in the neighborhoods and having a lot of things to do in the city, but also in terms of the transportation network. Because we’re a consulting (firm), we end up traveling all the time. They need both of them,” Roth said.
The mayor’s office said it is the 27th time since he took office that a major corporation has committed to bringing new jobs to Chicago – 16,000 in all since Emanuel’s election.
“There’s a new confidence out there, this is a city that’s on the move,” Emanuel said. “It’s not running away from its future, it’s shaping it.”
New jobs alone aren’t enough for the Mayor, who also got Huron to agree to take part in the latest College to Careers program, at Harold Washington College in the loop. That college now offers a variety of courses, but will soon specialize in the financial services industry, in an effort to give students an inside track at jobs once they graduate.
“It gives us a real focus on what it is we are trying to accomplish as students, and then we get to leave and we go into our various areas that we want to be in, and we know we got employment coming,” said Harold Washington student Jerusha McLaughlin.
That City Colleges connection – similar to what the city has done at Malcolm X College with representatives of the healthcare industry, and at Olive Harvey College with transportation logistics – might ultimately be more valuable than the 400 to 600 jobs announced on Wednesday.