In fall 2013, I unveiled the City of Chicago’s first-ever Technology Plan, which laid out a strategy to establish Chicago as a national and global center of technological innovation. Advancements in technology impact every aspect of our lives – how we work, play, and live. From the education of our children and the strength of our transportation system to the training of our workforce and the transparency of our government, innovation in technology leads to vibrant communities, strong infrastructure, and continued economic growth and prosperity.
Chicago used to be a flyover city for the tech community. Today, we are becoming a destination city for the best tech companies and the best tech talent in the country. Since 2012, we’ve added more than 15,000 technology jobs and it’s no accident that so many growing technology companies now have the confidence to move here or stay here.
Over the past eighteen months, we’ve expanded K-12 computer science education, early college STEM programming, and summer and other out-of-school technology learning opportunities for our children. We’ve increased free digital skills training opportunities and public computer access citywide. We’ve improved wireless service and technology infrastructure in our classrooms, libraries, and other public spaces. We’ve opened up data on City programs, initiatives, and processes in a way that no city has done before and become a national model for government transparency.
While we have made great strides in growing the technology industry, there is a lot more work to be done. And if we continue making the right investments together, we will give every child in every neighborhood the chance to participate in the 21st century technology economy right here in Chicago.
Mayor of Chicago