Made In Chicago: BSD Industries

CHICAGO (CBS) — A manufacturing company is churning out plastic utensils in a new high-tech factory on Chicago’s South Side.

Short for Building Self Determination, BSD Industries produces a rang of high quality, sustainable and plastic products.

“At BSD Industries we help community residents build self determination through robotics training and development of a career support system that will assist in the fulfillment of current and future job employment,” the company’s mission statement reads.

Dr. Byron Brazier, chairman and CEO of the Arthur M. Brazier Foundation, is behind BSD Industries, and describes it as a social enterprise initiative.

“A robotics training program, with an attached manufacturing facility, that would utilize the profits to support the community of Woodlawn,” Brazier said, who is also a pastor at the Apostolic Church of God. “We do thank God — he allowed us to create a tapestry of support.”

RELATED: Woodlawn Manufacturing Facility Training Workers In Robotics

The robotics training program is on the campus of Chicago State University and the manufacturing facility, where they put the training to work, is nearby at 95th and Cottage Grove.

“This used to be a shoe factory,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who attended BSD Industries’ grand opening and toured the factory floor. “It’s being re-imagined, reinvented to be a place of digital advanced manufacturing; not only making money, but training — every 20 weeks — 20 more workers.”

The workers will include public housing residents, and will earn college credit on the job.

Funded with a combination of public and private investment, BSD profits aim to benefit the community.

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