New fellows for Chicago, McCormick Place, and falling off the fiscal cliff

Talking Business on Morning Shift

October 2, 2012

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and World Business Chicago announced a new fellowship program yesterday. It's designed to have some of Chicago's "best and brightest" younger professionals in the private sector lend their talents to the city for a few months.

Here's how it will work: starting in January, private sector workers who have applied to the program will focus on different aspects of the Mayor's economic plan for the city. Major companies like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, United Airlines and Mesirow Financial have already agreed to continue to pay those employees' salaries while they spend anywhere from three to six months working alongside the strategy groups that have been developed for each of the plan's ten focus points.

Former White House Internship Director Melissa McNeal, who is coordinating the plan, will also oversee the fellows. She told me they're looking for "rising stars" who are mid-level professionals. It's not yet clear to me if other cities have done these type of private-public partnerships, but I'm doing some research on that one.

Also more news from yesterday: two of the cities biggest convention/shows have extended their committment to McCormick place: The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the International Manufacturing Technology Show. The NRA's committment is through 2021, a five-year extension. The International Manufacturing show has been extended for two more years, 2018 and 2020.

Mayor Emanuel says the labor union agreements at McCormick Place have created a "new landscape" that made these extensions possible.

And finally, falling off a fiscal cliff? That's the term some are using to describe a collection of tax increases or spending cuts that are set to expire in January, unless Congress acts. Chief among these is the scheduled expiration of tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush, as well as President Obama's payroll tax cut. 

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center study finds that 90 percent of Americans would pay more taxes - hardest hit among them low-income workers. The study's authors estimated that a lack of Congressional action on this "fiscal cliff" would increase Americans’ taxes by more than $500 billion in 2013 - almost $3,500 per household. The typical middle-class family would see its taxes go up roughly $2,000.

Curious about more? Here's a little video that might help explain things. The whole study is here.