Obama Center in Chicago reaching diversity goals, report shows – Chicago Tribune

Good afternoon, Chicago.

A new report shows the Obama Presidential Center is making progress in building a talent pipeline from South and West side residents. The report, released today, shows that 52% of contracts have been awarded to diverse vendors.

“We have to push because the goal is not to meet our numbers, the goal is to build wealth, and to create a new model for taking people into these good construction careers in a community that has been under invested in for generations,” said Michael Strautmanis, vice president for civic engagement at the Obama Foundation.

And President Joe Biden has announced his long-awaited student loan forgiveness plan. Borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or families earning less than $250,000, would be eligible for the $10,000 loan forgiveness. For recipients of Pell Grants, the federal government would cancel more.

Here’s what else is happening today. And remember, for the latest breaking news in Chicago, visit chicagotribune.com/breaking and sign up to get our alerts on all your devices.

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On Tuesday, Charles Freeman told a wild tale to jurors about how R. Kelly and his associates allegedly agreed to pay him up to a million dollars in the early 2000s to hunt down videotapes of the R&B singer sexually assaulting a young teen girl. But that account came under withering scrutiny within minutes of cross-examination beginning today. Read more here.

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Rivian subcontractors have agreed to pay $315,000 in back wages and penalties to settle a lawsuit brought by the state alleging the companies owed overtime pay to 59 Mexican laborers who helped build the startup’s electric vehicle plant in Normal. Read more here.

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The Tribune’s Brad Biggs reaches into the mailbag to answer questions about Roquan Smith’s contract situation, Matt Eberflus’ decision to play starters Saturday in Cleveland and — believe it or not — whether the young offensive line is becoming a strength. Read more here.

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September may be arriving next week but the season still has more to offer, be it with an open-air concert on Northerly Island or a walk in a hidden city garden. Read more here.

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A mother of two, including daughter Ashlynn who was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, La Ha Zwiercan has been an advocate for communities to become more inclusive and accommodating for those with disabilities. Read more here.

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