Marano Fellows Class of 2009

Name: Grace Garcia

Calumet Area Industrial Commission

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Primary Industry Sector: Manufacturing
Type of Organization: Community Base Organization/Business Association

“What really excites me about my sector work is my own history of starting out as an unskilled worker at a plastic injection mold company to my ascent to become their Human Resources Manager and then a Workforce Practitioner to my present position are due to the great mobility that is afforded in the manufacturing sector. Another reason why I am excited about this program is that I was born and raised in the low income community where this sector program will be based.”

Organizational Mission: To lead industrial retention and expansion efforts of the Calumet Area in order to create an environment in which industry will remain and grow. Our success is accomplished through Advocacy, Industrial Development, Workforce Development, and Advocacy.

Our organization has been in operation since 1967.

Interest in Sector Work: My organizations interest in sector work stems from being an industrial retention agency. The industry sector that I am interested in working in is manufacturing. I chose to work in this sector due to my manufacturing background. I have firsthand knowledge of the manufacturing sector and feel that I can create and implement a sector based employment and training program.

This work will benefit low income workers and or disadvantaged job seekers and local economy because manufacturing still offers the best set of wages and benefits when all sectors are compared.

Low income and incumbent workers will benefit from this sector initiative. Some of the issues that these workers face are the perception that manufacturing is not a desirable field and it is not financially rewarding.