Mayor Emanuel introduces Chicago’s digital roadmap

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An introduction into Chicago’s digital roadmap was introduced Friday morning.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed an entire table of tech experts to figure out how to add more diversity in the city’s growing industry.

“No one industry generates more than 13% of employment.” Mayor Emanuel said.

But the tech industry is generating a fast boom.  New web development courses were announced this week, kicking off next year at five Chicago Public Schools and city colleges.

From there, the plan is to expand it to all Chicago Public Schools.  It is meant to generate the talent pool that would convince web startups to invest here, more than Silicon Valley, Austin and Boston– anywhere else.

Rahm said Friday that “In the last year we’ve moved from 15th to 10th.  We’ve had the biggest jump of any city.”

The mayor, proud of what has happened so far, pointing to 1871.  A 50,000 square foot facility at the Merchandise Mart, home to the city’s digital startups.

“We have what I call digital alley. 7,000 employees in one area.  That’s why I put a bike lane– in the sense of all cylinders firing.”

The council at Friday’s round table has the task of giving the mayor recommendations in the next four months on how to add more diversity, women and minorities to Chicago’s digital roadmap.

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