Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined the Arthur M. Brazier Foundation to open the BSD Industries business trade school and manufacturing facility. Located on Chicago’s South Side, the facility offers robotics training with a career support system that will support current and future employment opportunities. The facility will also produce a range of high-quality, sustainable, plastic products.
“BSD industries is a win-win – it will provide critical job skills training for today while supporting a strong future for manufacturing on the South Side of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Thanks to the leadership of community organizations like the Arthur M. Brazier Foundation we are generating economic opportunities and improving communities in every part of Chicago.”
“We recognized the need to not only provide workforce development skills but to take it one step further and give community residents on-the-job training where they earn a paycheck and develop skills for a career in a growing industry,” Dr. Byron Brazier, Brazier Foundation Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said. “Understanding the challenges that face residents, we developed a rigorous curriculum that not only provides basic job skills but also provides a support system to be successful.”
More than 40 trainees are currently enrolled in BSD Industries inaugural class. The trainees will participate in a 13-month training program including an apprenticeship at the manufacturing facility. All trainees begin by learning basic job skills at BOOST Camp taught through a partnership at Chicago State University.
Following successful completion of the camp, trainees will begin the Robotics Training Technician Program where they will learn real-time training and gain experience in robotics systems, industrial coding and other technologies used in advanced manufacturing. Trainees will receive five levels of stackable training where they will earn an industry recognized credential at each level.
The program has received $2 million in funding from the Chicago Housing Authority and $500,000 from JPMorgan Chase.
“We are proud to be part of this innovative program that is not only bringing jobs to the South Side but providing crucial workforce training that will put these trainees on the path to a better job and life,” said John Hooker, Chicago Housing Authority Chairman. “We know that hands-on training and real-life experience is the key to helping these trainees and as a result will be positively impacting the community.”
In addition to the training program, BSD Industries is expected to produce 123 million units of high-quality, sustainable plastic products annually beginning next year. The products will be available for purchase with profits earmarked for investment in the stabilization of communities including education, safety and economic development.