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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:59pm
Wed Jun 24

Cash-Strapped Illinois Getting Shortchanged In Federal Revenues, Report Shows

A new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute makes the case for closing the "payer state" gap at the federal level. Progress Illinois takes a look at the new research.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:37pm
Mon Jun 22

The Pope's Climate Change Encyclical 'Raises Urgency' For IL Clean Energy Bill, Advocates Say

After Pope Francis called for climate action in an encyclical on the environment last week, local faith leaders and state Sen. Jacqueline Collins say Illinois lawmakers could help carry out the pope's message by approving a pending clean energy bill.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:57pm
Thu Jun 18

Brighter Job Prospects Predicted For U.S. Teens This Summer

U.S. teens still face a pretty bleak employment landscape, but their job prospects are predicted to be a bit brighter this summer, according to a new study by the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.

The study estimates that the nationwide 2015 summer employment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 will be 29.8 percent. That would represent the highest teen summer employment rate since 2008, when the figure was 32.4 percent.

The predicted 2015 teen employment rate of 29.8 percent is up from 27 percent in the summer of 2014 and 26.7 percent in 2013.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:45pm
Tue Jun 16

South Side Group Launches Campaign Around Obama Library Community Benefits Agreement

With the Obama presidential library set to come to either Jackson or Washington parks in Chicago, a South Side group is seeking help in crafting a proposed community benefits agreement (CBA) to ensure local residents and businesses are not displaced by the possible gentrification that could come with the project.

The Bronzeville Regional Collective, comprised of South Side organizations and community development advocates, has created a seven-point CBA blueprint for the Obama library development.

"We don't want to see the South Side become what Lincoln Park was in the '60s and '70s," said Bronzeville Regional Collective member Anton Seals Jr., who is also on the South Shore Planning and Preservation Coalition's board.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:33pm
Thu Jun 11

Whistleblower Becomes Alleged Victim Of Retaliatory Firing At Nippon Sharyo Plant (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

Passenger railcar manufacturer Nippon Sharyo has once again garnered the attention of activists and workers' rights advocates, this time for an alleged retaliatory firing. A former Nippon Sharyo worker says she was let go last week after speaking out about alleged unsafe working conditions and unfair treatment at the company's plant in Rochelle, Illinois.

Back in mid-March, then-Nippon Sharyo worker Jennifer Svenkerud filed a whistleblower discrimination complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), claiming that she was written up and sent home without pay after speaking to company officials about an alleged fall hazard in the non-unionized facility.

Svenkerud, 42, worked at Nippon Sharyo's Rochelle plant as an interior railcar assembler. Before filing her complaint with OSHA of the U.S. Labor Department, Svenkerud said she was assigned on March 3 to work inside a passenger railcar that lacked handrails and safety boards to prevent falls.

"They had me drilling up into a ceiling, and I had a five-foot drop within about a half an inch from me," she told Progress Illinois. "And we're supposed to have boards there. So I went to my boss to get boards there, and they told me that that was part of my job, and I didn't need the boards."

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