Headlines: June 4th, 2008

Representatives of Birmingham City Council are in the United States this week to talk about their success stories in increasing employment. They are taking part in ‘International Sister City Week’ in Chicago, which brings together people from cities in all parts of the world. Birmingham is showcasing regeneration initiatives designed to deliver jobs and prosperity.

Clive Dutton, the council’s Director of Planning and Regeneration is delivering a speech giving an overview of the city’s projects at the Welfare to Work exchange. The event, at the Chicago Cultural Centre, aims to share examples of success in tackling unemployment and in partnership working to create jobs within local economies.

His speech will follow an address from Chicago’s director of policy for planning and development, Sam Assefa, and one from David K. Hanson, workforce development commissioner in the Chicago Mayor ‘s office. Officers from Birmingham City Council and the City of Chicago will be producing a joint report and action plan on tackling unemployment, which will be implemented over a potential five year time period.

Neville Summerfield, Birmingham’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, is also attending the event and said, “Birmingham has a proud record of innovation in terms of major regeneration projects such as the Bullring and Eastside, and this in turn is creating a wealth of employment opportunities for a cross section of potential employees, from architects and planners to builders and retailers.

”Further initiatives such as the City Centre Masterplan, the New Library of Birmingham and proposals to redevelop New Street Station meant more than 10 billion worth of further investment and regeneration was planned for the city centre alone. He added, “This investment is not city centre focussed, we are actively working to attract millions of pounds of investment and thousands of new jobs to all parts of the city, so we are delighted to share the valuable lessons we have learnt with our colleagues in Chicago, and listen to new ideas on how we can enhance our own practices.”