Friday, June 29, 2012

Who Can Replace Dick Durbin? | NBC Chicago

Tech Talk: What's New at Austin Polytechnical Academy

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Tech Talk: What's New at APA

May / June 2012 

In This Issue
Congratulations Class of 2012
Introducing the Career Path Pioneers
" Whistle While You Work" (and Learn) at Austin Polytech
A Lesson in Self Determination
Summer Jobs Are Here Again!

Thank you! 

Thank you to these partners who through the payment of their membership fees help our program provide high-quality career & technical education for the next generation of leaders in manufacturing:


American Mold Builders Assoc. (AMBA) Chicago Chapter

Belden, Inc


Bison Gear & Engineering Corp. 

C. Cretors & Co. 

Chicago Metal Fabricators 

Chicago Paper Tube & Can Co. 

Columbia Metal Spinning

Cragin Metals

DeCardy Diecasting

Freedman Seating

Graymills Company

Iverson & Company

Label Master

Laystrom Manufacturing Co.

Matrix Tooling, Inc. 


Overton Chicago Gear

P-K Tool & Mfrg Co.

Paasche Airbrush Co.

Plymouth Tube Co.  

Quality Control Corp

Saporito Finishing Co. 

Sunstar Americas Inc

Swiss Precision Machining

Tempel Steel 

WaterSaver Faucet  
Winzeler Gear Company

We also receive generous support from:  

The Chicago Community Trust

The JP Morgan Chase Foundation

The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

The Kendeda Fund

The Kresge Foundation

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

The Polk Brothers Foundation

Surdna Foundation   

Society for Manufacturing   Engineers Education Foundation
Tooling and Manufacturing      Association Education Foundation


For more information about participating in the APA Partner Program, please contact Bill Vogel and Norwin Merens, Industry Coordinators, at or

About Austin Polytech 

Austin Polytechnical Academy is an engineering- and manufacturing-focused and college prep public high school on Chicago's West Side.

Thanks to the support of nearly 60 partner companies, our students learn about the many different career opportunities in manufacturing through field trips, guest speaker visits, job shadowing opportunities, internships, and more.

Austin Polytech's Career Program is a project of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council. Our career program is operated by the Center for Labor and Community Research.

Learn more at 

Support our Students 

It takes more than a traditional high school budget to help our students engineer their future.

Please help by sending us a check, payable to the Center for Labor and Community Research, at 3411 West Diversey, Suite 10, Chicago, Illinois 60647.

You can also contribute online securely through PayPal by clicking below:

Your donation is tax deductible. For more information about giving to APA, contact:
Erica Swinney, Program Director, at or 773-534-6326. 

Tech Talk Archive 


APA Network


Visit our blog


View our photos on flickr


Find us on Facebook



Austin Polytechnical Academy
231 N. Pine Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60644

Main Office: (773) 534-6301
Career Services: (773) 534-6326 

Congratulations Class of 2012!

On June 9, 2012, 58 Austin Polytech Seniors crossed the stage to become graduates. It was a wonderful event with inspirational music from the APA Choir and moving speech from Keynote Speaker Mr. Melvin Slater, former Austin Polytech Engineering Teacher. This dynamic group of young people overcame many obstacles to earn the honor of Austin Polytech Graduate. The Class of 2012 persevered through 3 changes in APA administration and did so demonstrating great strength of character and determination to succeed. Nearly all of our graduates have plans to attend college, nearly 90% of the graduates had earned at least one NIMS credential, 20% of graduates are actively pursuing career tracks in manufacturing and engineering either through full-time employment and part-time school or through the majors they are interested in studying while attending college full-time. 
We hope to keep in touch with alumni through our APAlumn Network and continue to provide career services and support as they navigate the next steps in starting their careers.  
Introducing the Career Path Pioneers 

Let us introduce you to APA Graduate Alex West. He is a Career Path Pioneer, one of the expanding groups of APA alumni. Career Path Pioneers are the APA Alumni who are intending on combining full-time work in manufacturing and part-time college after high school. Alex

 just joined the Atlas Tool & Die Works, Inc. team in June 2012 as a full-time apprentice machinist. Along with key benefits like health insurance and 401k plans, most APA partner companies offer some kind of tuition reimbursement to their employees, which provides high school graduates, like Alex, a real chance at a college education that would have otherwise been financially out-of- reach. 


Alex along with 20% of APA's graduating class participated in our Career Coaching program. The Career Coaching program works with students to perfect their resumes while prepping them for job interviews through a combination of counseling and mock interviews. Career Dept. staff also met with both the student and their parent to make sure they have a full understanding of the employment opportunity and what it will take to be successful. After a student completes the program Bill Vogel, our Industry Coordinator, takes the student to interview with one or more of our hiring APA partner companies. This is why we are proud to introduce you to Alex West who was one of the first graduating seniors to secure a full-time job offer. We will continue to follow-up with Alex and the other 7 Career Path Pioneers who have received job offers as they pave their path to success.  


Stay Tuned!


" Whistle While You Work" (and Learn) at Austin Polytech 

APA Students Shiquan and Diquan Weaver-- a formidable brother and sister team-- recently represented
Austin Polytech Academy at the Project Lead The Way Capstone event held at Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology.  APA was one of 10 schools represented with exhibits showcasing the latest student-directed projects in advanced manufacturing technologies.  The Austin Polytech entry traced the evolution and devlopment of APA's higly-acclaimed whistle project.  The program involves the machining and turning of metal slugs into whistles that were subsequently  anodized by APA partner company, Saporito Finishing Co., Cicero, IL.


Our thanks to the Shiquan and Diquan for their efforts.  Also, special kudos to the dynamic faculty team of
Tom O'Brien and Pablo Varela for spearheading the whistle and comunicating its significance to APA students
as part of their classroom experiences.
A Lesson in Self Determination
by Pablo Varela, 
Manufacturing Training Center (AMTC) Instructor 
Self-directed learning at the AMTC facility focuses on the process by which adults take command of their own learning goals, find the right resources, and evaluate their growth.


All seven participants of the current AMTC National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) machining class have earned 3/5 NIMS credentials possible and are one a steady pace to earn the final 2. The adult students engaged in self-directed learning and are using social networks, encouragement from their peers, emotional and educational counseling from staff and classmates to accomplish the expectations set by CLCR. The results of our approach include the credentials our students have accomplished so far and in the consistent pace they follow as described in the course syllabus and curriculum. 
This training program is the first step to what will potentially be long and interesting career in the advanced manufacturing sector for our trainees. Credentials cannot replace the work experience necessary to grow within a given company, which they have still yet to earn. Our participants understand the effort and skills needed to achieve greatness and thus are completely prepared to make a contribution to the manufacturing companies they will ultimately choose to work for. 

 Summer Jobs Are Here Again!

It's summer time again and as always our students are diligently working away; gaining experience and having fun at the same time. Among the 18 students placed at jobs this summer a lucky few get spend their time making whistles at Austin Polytech's WaterSaver Faucet Manufacturing Technology Center.
APA Junior Michael Evans prepares to cut a rod down to start making whistles.
Summer Jobs
APA Junior William Cocroft installs a plug onto a whistle.
APA Junior Brittney Parker de-burs a whistle after making the air window in the CNC Machine.
Stay tuned for more information about our Summer Jobs program in our next issue of Tech Talk.  
This email was sent to by |  
Austin Polytechnical Academy | 231 N. Pine Ave. | Chicago | IL | 60644

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Friday, June 22, 2012

NYT: Prisons, Privatization, Patron

Have Blacks Finally Arrived At Third-World Status in America?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Black Star Project <>
Date: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Subject: Have Blacks Finally Arrived At Third-World Status in America?

Black Star Logo
Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Have Blacks in America Arrived at Third-World Status?
Listen To Parent Revolution
Attend Saturday Univeristy
Million Father March
Father Plfeger and Rev. Wright Work for Peace
Wake Up Black America
Math and Reading Boot Camp
The Black Star Project's website:
Black Star Jounral:
Become a Member:
Click Here
Event Calendar:
Like us on Facebook:


Black Star Logo 

Have Blacks In America Officially
Arrived at Third-World Status?
In Past Four Years, Whites Wealth Widens to 22 Times That of Blacks; Many Blacks in America Can Barely Afford Food, Shelter, Medicine or Educational Enhancements.  We Are In Trouble!


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacks -- a gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession (2008 through 2012).


In 2005, the net worth difference wasn't quite as stark. Whites had 12 times more wealth than blacks and 8 times more than Hispanics 


The widened wealth chasm could have major ramifications going forward, experts said.


Having less wealth and home equity means it will be more difficult for blacks and Hispanics to send their children to college, which gives them a leg up on landing good jobs, said Roderick Harrison, senior research scientist at Howard University. That will further extend the wealth gap.


"The implications will be with us into the next generation, which will have greater difficulty in getting the kinds of jobs needed to start saving and building wealth," Harrison said.




Click Here to Join The Black Star Project as We Work to Change the Above Realities.

Listen to The The Black Star Project's
Internationally Acclaimed Radio Program
The Parent Revolution 
Every Saturday on WVON 1690AM
7:00 pm Eastern; 6:00 pm Central;
5:00 pm Mountain; 4:00 pm Pacific


Topic for Saturday, June 23, 2012:
A Report from
"Hoods" Across America: 
How Are Black People Doing In Education, Employment, Crime, Health, Housing, Etc?
These cities will report:
Baton Rouge, Detroit, Jackson, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York City, Omaha, Philadelphia


The Black Star Project's Parent Revolution is quite simply organizing, supporting and encouraging parents, especially Black parents, to be the first, best and most important teachers and advocates for their children.  Additionally, we are working to make Black parents the major, dynamic educational force in the Black community. Join us Saturdays...

3:00 pm Alaskan; 2:00 pm Hawaiian

or at 
7:00 pm Toronto, Canada; 7:00 pm Havana, Cuba; 8:00 pm Rio de Janerio, Brazil; 10:00 pm Kingston, Jamaica 


or Sunday morning

12:00 am Accra, Ghana; 12:00 am Lagos, Nigeria; 12:00 am London, England; 1:00 am Johannesburg, South Africa; 1:00 am Paris, France; 3:00 am Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; 7:00 am Beijing, China

Click Here to listen to WVON 1690AM

Click Here if you "wanna a revolution!!!"

Call 773.285.9600 to start a parent revolution in your city.


Click Here for Gun Turn-In Sites


To join The Black Star Project's efforts to bring Peace In The Hood, please call 773.285.9600.

As many/most Black children in American schools are failing academically, the only way to successfully educate them is with the support and actions of their parents, families and communities. Register now for the free Chicago-area Saturday University beginning now and going through the summer of 2012.
Black Star Logo
We have 15 free Saturday Universities operating in and around Chicago and south suburbs. Please call 773.285.9600 to register your child for free academic enhancement or
for more information about bringing the Saturday University to your community. We need teachers and tutors for our sites. Please call 773.285.9600 to volunteer.

371 Cities Have Signed Up For The Million Father March 2012. 

Where is your city?


Listen and Watch the Theme Song of the

Million Father March 2012 by Clicking Here

All Young Fathers 40 Years of Age and Younger

Should Listen to this Song for Inspiration.

Million Father March 2012 Webinar Series: Engaging Faith-Based Institutions

Thursday, June 28, 2012 

1:00 pm Central Time

Black Star Logo

Last year, in 767 cities, more than 1 million fathers took their children to school on the first day.  Parents, educators, faith leaders, elected officials, government agents, community members, business leaders, social service agencies and just plain people made the 2011 Million Father March the most successful ever.


Click here to register for the June 28, 2012 webinar!


The Million Father March is easy to manage and The Black Star Project will help you all the way.


Please call 773.285.9600 to get more information or to register your city for the 2012 Million Father March.


Please click here to learn about the 2011 Million Father March.

The Black Star Project Congratulates Father Michael Plfeger and the Faith Community of Saint Sabina on a Great March that Took Peace to the Hood.



The Black Star Angels

Walking and Riding Community Patrols in Chicago


Please call The Black Star Project at 773.285.9600 to join these patrols or for more information.

Black Star Logo 

Rev. Father Michael Plfeger, pastor of the Faith Community of St. Sabina (left), and Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor emeritus of Trinity UCC (right), work together to bring peace to the hood in Chicago by leading the peace march in the community on May 16, 2012.

 (All photos provided by Derek Grace, producer and director of On The Frontline.)


With 107 children killed in Chicago between

March 2011 and March 2012:

 Only we can educate our children.

Only we can keep our communities safe.

Only we can keep our communities clean.

Only we can provide jobs for our youth.

Only we can protect and provide support for our elders.


Black Star Logo

Dorothy Davis (holding the flag on the right) led the Black Star contingent in this march.


Black Star Logo 

Thousands answered the call by Father Plfeger to take to the streets for peace in Chicago!


Peace In the Hood is supported

by Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Collins,

a member of the Faith Community of Saint Sabina.


Thanks to Kidz Off The Block, National Block Club University, TWO, Temple of Mercy Association, Mark and Paul (Westside), The Nation of Islam, the Faith Community of Saint Sabina, CeaseFire, P.E.A.C.E., Green Acres, Dawn and Pam/Rough Riders and other peace-keeping organizations for their work to make Chicago safer. Most of these organizations receive no funding for their efforts to keep Chicago safe.

Wake Up, Black America: We're Sleepwalking Back To Slavery
by Robert. R. Johnson,
RaveJon Inc.
ISBN # 0977359417, $19.95.
Wake Up, Black America has Black Americans coming together from San Francisco to New York City and from Chicago to Natchez, Miss. to discuss problems in our communities and implement strategies to solve these problems.
The book takes a serious look at some of the problems plaguing Black communities today, like Blacks killing Blacks, Black communities, no Black-owned businesses, the state of the Black family, and too many young Blacks not getting an education or working. It also reveals that most Black Americans believe we can solve our own problems once we recognize them and take positive action together. Robert Johnson recently won a Black Excellence Award for this book.

This book can be purchased from, Black bookstores, Dusable Museum and from Mr. Johnson if you want a signed copy

. You can also mail a money orderto Robert R. Johnson, P.O. Box 497338, Chicago, Il. 60649.  E-mail me at WAKE UP BROTHERS & SISTERS WE CAN FIX THIS THIS IS NOT BLACK BASHING. THIS IS VERY SERIOUS REALITY.


Robert R. Johnson - 773-391-7512.

Click Here to Purchase "Wake Up Black America"

The Black Star Scholars Summer

Mathematics Boot Camp


Reading Warriors Program


Class Schedule for July 9, 2012 through August 11, 2012

Small Group Instruction


Saturday, 10:00-11:30: K - 3rd grade Reading/Writing   Saturday, 11:30-1:00: K - 3rd grade Math

Saturday, 1:30-3:00: 4th - 8th grade Reading/Writing          
Saturday, 3:00-4:30: 4th - 8th grade Math

Tuesday, 3:30-5:00: High School Reading and Writing

Tuesday, 5:00-6:30: High School Math


Black Star LogoCost: $30.00 per class and $150 for 5-week term; $300 for both classes (Reading, Writing and Math)


The Black Star Project has demonstrated 1 full grade level increase in math scores and 1/3 grade increase in reading scores through its tutoring programs.


Help your child get a headstart for next school year in their math, reading, and writing skills.


Call Jami Becka at 773.285.9600 to register your child today!

This email was sent to by |  
The Black Star Project |
3473 South King Drive, Box 464 | Chicago | IL | 60616

Posted via email from Brian's posterous

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Roberto Unger, Obama's Former Harvard Law School Professor, Says The President 'Must Be Defeated'

Link: (sent via Shareaholic)

---- He acknowledged that if a Republican wins the presidency, "there will be a cost ... in judicial and administrative appointments." But he said that "the risk of military adventurism" would be no worse under a Republican than under Obama, and that "the Democratic Party proposes no new direction."

Posted via email from Brian's posterous

Monday, June 11, 2012

Help stop the racist Florida voter purge


A threat to one group of people's voting rights is a threat to all
of our voting rights--and to our democracy. The governor of Florida is
attempting to block the voting rights of thousands of Latino voters right

That's why I signed a petition urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to
sue Florida and block the racist voter purge. Can you join me at the link


Posted via email from Brian's posterous