Seeking to increase the number of minority employees in Chicago technology companies, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has created a diversity tech council.
“Chicago’s technology economy is thriving, creating thousands of jobs and generating interest from around the world,” Emanuel said in a statement. “As we experience this unprecedented growth in this key sector, it is incumbent that the opportunities that are being developed are available for all Chicagoans and that the city’s technology community reflects the diversity and vitality of the city itself. These talented leaders will work directly with the technology community and my office to create innovative programs and new ideas that will help expand the diversity and vibrancy of the technology economy throughout the City.”
The 12-member council will also be responsible for helping to increase the percentage of minority-owned and operated technology firms and helping find ways to transition students who attend Chicago public schools and city colleges into the technology economy, according to the mayor’s office.
Latinos on the council include Josh Hernandez, who founded Walk.by, a company that is bringing mobile and social commerce directly to Chicago’s retail community, David Zapata, in public relations, Roger J. Martinez, president of Quantum Crossings, Darrell Higueros, president of Next Generation Inc, and Daniel Salcedo, founder and chairman of Mobcart and Everpurse.
The council will be given an initial four-month timeline to make its first set of recommendations to Mayor Emanuel for specific things that can be undertaken by the Mayor’s administration to foster this sort of growth.