Hosted by: Equiticity, Metropolitan Planning Council, University of Illinois Chicago
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The COVID-19 crisis is showing us that even with remote technologies that allow some people to work from home, essential workers must be able to get to work at places like hospitals, grocery stores, food service and essential retail. Put simply, transportation for workers matters for us all, but many disadvantaged workers and job seekers face serious transportation challenges. In the Chicago region, 2.8 million people– mostly low-income communities of color – live in economically disconnected areas.
These areas are isolated from major employment centers and face long and unreliable commutes, leading to high turnover and economic instability, which make it difficult to climb the economic ladder. We conducted focus group research to collect firsthand experiences from disadvantaged job seekers and job coaches to understand workers’ life experiences and the role transportation plays in their ability to obtain and maintain employment. Hear more about the research outcomes and potential solutions.
A second facet of the transportation equity conversation is the methods used to prioritize our limited transportation resources. There is a long history of transportation projects inflicting significant damage on communities of color and not involving residents in the transportation improvements to meet their needs. As we seek to rectify the regional imbalances in transportation outcomes, the transportation sector needs to prioritize investment in communities that have historically been marginalized.
Join us! This event will highlight national research on equity-oriented performance measures and highlight methods that can be applied in our region. In this panel hear from the team that oversaw both research efforts.
Audrey Wennink, Director of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Council
Jacky Grimshaw, Board of Directors, Equiticity and Vice President of Government Affairs, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Kate Lowe, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois Chicago
Chelsie Coren, Research Assistant, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois Chicago
Ron Hearns, Director of Midwest Workforce Operations, KRA, Westside American Job Center
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