Geithner Makes $55 Million Promise

Chicago gets tax credit money for jobs

By Mary Ann Ahern and BJ Lutz
|  Sunday, Nov 1, 2009  |  Updated 11:05 AM CDT
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Tim Geithner said Friday Chicago will receive $55 million from a tax credit program to help people find jobs.

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Roughly $5 billion in business tax credits will be going to more than 90 organizations in struggling communities nationwide, the president's top man on the economy announced Friday.

About $55 million of that will be devoted to Chicago.

Secretary Timothy Geithner made the announcement while touring the Greater West Town Community Development Project, which is seeing signs of hope as it retrains workers.

Francisco Chavez is one of the success stories from the center.

"I was able to update my skills within a 12 week period and after the training, within two weeks I was placed at a employer here in Chicago, said Chavez, who had been out of work for 17 months.

"It takes people to come together, and sometimes it takes a little longer time than anybody expects, but you have to stay in there. You cannot give up on putting people back to work," said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

Geithner said that while the economy is improving, there's still a long way to go. But how much time that'll take, he's not willing to say.

The money is through the New Markets Tax Credit program which is credited with creating hundreds of thousands of jobs since it began in 2000. About $1.5 billion of the $5 billion is from stimulus funds.

It's the second time this year Geithner has announced money under the program. In May he said $1.5 billion would go to organizations in 33 states.

Following the meeting, Geithner met with the Chicago Tribune's editorial board, where he said Troubled Asset Relief Program funds were well-spent.

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