Tag: China

Education Leaders from Guangzhou, China Visit Triton College

Thursday, August 31, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

Featured image: Dr. Sue Campos, the dean of Triton College’s Health Careers and Public Service programs, leads a group of educators from Guangzhou, China on a tour of Triton’s Health and Sciences building on August 29. | Submitted photo

Continue reading “Education Leaders from Guangzhou, China Visit Triton College”

Proviso Township Residents–China May Have Your Jobs

chinaAn employee in a forklift cruises past Chinese shipping containers. Photo by Business Insider.

Monday, December 15, 2014 || By Michael Romain

New study estimates 4,600 jobs lost in 7th Congressional District from ’01 to ’13 due to U.S. trade deficit with China

A recently released study (PDF: EPI US China Trade Deficit Study) by the liberal Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that between 2001 and 2013, the U.S. has lost about 3.2 million jobs due to its growing trade deficit with China. About 132,500 of those lost jobs were from Illinois, with a small fraction of the state’s total loss – about 4,600 jobs – disappearing from the 7th congressional district. That data point ranks it 315th hardest-hit among the country’s 436 Congressional Districts (including the District of Columbia).

Illinois’s 7th Congressional District, which is represented by Congressman Danny K. Davis (D), covers much of the western suburbs (including Oak Park, River Forest and a range of Proviso Township suburbs such as Maywood, Bellwood and Melrose Park), in addition to a vast expanse of Chicago’s West Side.

A country’s balance of trade enters into a deficit when the amount of goods and services it imports exceeds the amount of goods and services it exports. When this happens, more money is going out of the country than is coming in.

“Each $1 billion in exports to China from the United States supports some American jobs. However, each $1 billion in imports from China displaces the American workers who would have been employed making these products in the United States,” the study notes.

“Since China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, the massive growth of trade between China and the United States has had a dramatic and negative effect on U.S. workers and the domestic economy. Specifically, a growing U.S. goods trade deficit with china has the United States piling up foreign debt, losing export capacity, and losing jobs, especially in the vital but under-siege manufacturing sector,” EPI states.

The study also mentions that some congressional districts in Illinois, along with those in states such as New York and Georgia, were “especially hard-hit by trade-related job displacement in a variety of manufacturing industries, including computer and electronic parts, textiles and apparel, and furniture.”

Illinois had six of the top 20 hardest-hit congressional districts in the nation and had the fourth-highest job loss among states in the country, but its 7th Congressional District was not nearly as hard-hit as many of the nation’s hardest-hit districts, which include some iconic and wealthy locales.

For instance, the three hardest-hit Congressional Districts all spanned California’s Silicon Valley, encompassing places like Cupertino, home of Apple; Palo Alto, home of Hewlett-Packard and Stanford University; and Santa Clara, home of National Semiconductor. In all, those three districts – the 17th, 18th and 19th – lost more than 150,000 jobs between 2001 and 2013, the study claims. VFP

Images of America’s Disappearing Workforce

Cumulative US jobs displaced

Ne US Jobs Displaced

Cumulative  US jobs displaced by China US trade gap

Kite Runner: Why This Maywood Native Wants To Import A Chinese Passion To His Hometown

Screenshot 2014-07-06 at 12.11.11 PM(Valane Spaulding setting up for yesterday’s Family Kite Day at Conner-Heise Memorial Park. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press). 

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LaTrina Spaulding, Tiffney Hughes, Valane Spaulding, LaShaundra Murphy. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press.

Sunday, July 6, 2014 || By Michael Romain

MAYWOOD–When newlyweds Valane and LaTrina Spaulding honeymooned to Beijing this year, the city’s thriving kite-flying culture made such an impression that Valane brought back some of that aerial passion to America–and in particular, Maywood, the place where he grew up.

“There were people flying kites in every park in Beijing that we came across,” Spaulding said. “It took me back to my childhood days. We don’t do that anymore.”

Those nostalgic moments in China would lead to yesterday’s Family Kite Day held at Conner-Heise Memorial Park on 10th and Washington, from 11 AM to 5 PM.

“I’m just trying to bring a little life, a little color, into our community,” said Spaulding, a Proviso East alumnus.

What began as a way to spread financial literacy and security to people in his community has spawned into a far more encompassing endeavor.

Spaulding, who majored in Finance at the University of Illinois and currently resides in downtown Chicago, has created an organization called Integrating People’s Options to formally facilitate more community events like the one yesterday. He envisions hosting basketball and softball tournaments, and 5K and 10K runs–right here in Maywood. His wife LaTrina, Tiffney Hughes and LaShaundra Murphy comprise the organization’s administrative team.

“I love my community,” Spaulding said. “I love my people, so when I read the news and I see the stuff that’s happening in Maywood–that hurts me. I ride through this community and I don’t see anyone in the parks. I hate that.”

At least for one overcast, but temperate, Saturday afternoon, however, one park in the Village was animated by an Imperial City pastime imported to the Village of Eternal Light. VFP

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Victor’s Smiling

This is the first in an ongoing series of profiles and oral histories about Maywoodians and people with Maywood connections—some are still here, while others have moved on. See the Village through their words. Know and live free.

In December of last year, I came across a man from China while doing some canvassing on the North Side of Chicago for a Hurricane Sandy relief event. A friend and I had sought shelter from the pouring rain inside of a restaurant he owned. We’d been here once before, but we didn’t talk to him then like we did this time. During our conversation, I couldn’t help but feeling slightly envious (it was the only way to channel my patriotism) and even a bit angry, as if this Chinese man, with his exuberant, confident optimism, was infringing upon a copyright that I owned. I kept thinking, ‘Is the American Dream becoming the Chinese Dream; or rather, ‘Is the American Dream becoming a reality for everyone but Americans?’ But when he said that he’d lived in Maywood for a spell, during his youth, he immediately endeared himself to me.

The place was empty when Nick and I walked in, just as it was the last time we were here. The same Chinese guy greeted us from behind the counter. We ordered the same meal – a value meal, two hot dogs and a fry, with two cups of free water.

As before, we paid begrudgingly. I handed him a flyer and strained an explanation. “Hurricane Sandy…Help…Fundraiser…To raise money for the people over there…Can I leave it, here?,” I said. He nodded and gestured with his hands and winced his eyes as he responded, his body motions bridging the void of understanding in which my words were mere echoes. He approved and I taped the flyer onto the wall nearest the entrance.

When our food came, the man said, “I give you extra fry, since you like fry so much.” I’d told him that his French fries should be the envy of Chicago, they were that good. He was amused and gracious, as before. But this time, unlike before, as we ate our food he asked us questions. He wanted to know if canvassing the neighborhood with benefit flyers was how we earned our living. We said no, begging the question of how, in fact, we earned our living. I told the man that I write. He laughed and made a typing gesture with his hands, seeming to mock me. Nick told him that he stays at home with his parents for the time being, his life on pause, muted out of protest. He has many complaints with the way of the world.

“You go to school?” The man asked. We told him we both went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a golden crease formed on his face. And then he suddenly looked astonished. “You mean you go to the Illinois and you don’t have a job?” he said to Nick, but I suspect it was indirectly posed to me as well. After all, where he’s from, perhaps even more than in America, writers are synonymous with the chronically unemployed. He thought it was miraculous that we’d graduated from U of I and were out canvassing on a weekday afternoon.


Screenshot 2014-01-27 at 9.37.44 PM

He said his son also graduated from the U of I and indulgently labored to produce his children’s wrinkled resumes and smeared graduation photos. They were, he apparently believed, his truest form of identification. He presented an oral précis of his son’s achievements – third in his engineering class at U of I, Master’s in engineering from MIT, MBA to be eventually obtained from either Harvard or Stanford, several patents to his name, prized employee at General Electric before being lured by Boeing for $135,000. And his daughter – “She at Cornell…This summer she can make money with internship…I don’t have to worry…she work right away!”

He looked at us as if pitying a pair of stray pups. “Why you don’t get job while in school? Why you in debt? You don’t get scholarship?” And as he continued with his barrage of questions, we looked at him like an alien. “My kids, they go to school and they get jobs before they leave,” he said, smiling, proud, but not boastful. “The company come to the school every week – it’s unbelievable! … I’m very lucky. But I told them, I do everything for them to go to school…I sell house, whatever. I see people put the child-len out of their house and thing,” he paused, as if to indicate that such a sad reality needed a moment of silence. “They are an investment how I see it,” he said, smiling.

His name is Victor and he was born in Southern China. He told us stories of terror under Mao Tse-tung, of hardship, but not of overcoming. That he didn’t have to verbalize. Even though he’d studied economics in China, when he came to America he had nothing. “I was homeless.” Eventually, he earned a Master’s degree from DePaul. After school, he worked at a bank in the loan department, but he stopped. “Bad system—before computers.”

While he was still young and unmarried, he lived in Maywood, inside of Hines Hospital. He worked in the morning in exchange for food and board (“That time was golden. No more.”). He married to get his green card. He had children. Having grown restless in his banking career, he got the idea to open a hot dog joint, which he named Relish the Thought. He figured that, with his degree, he was insured if the business failed. It was a lesson he imparted to his children. “I tell them, think about it – You have to have a backup plan…Now I got house, my kids in school. I’m good.”

“Well, you get an A in the parenting book,” Nick said. Victor laughed while walking back to the counter. “Yes. I done my job.” He said this with relish, the way some people speak of their cars or their bank accounts. He asked Nick why he didn’t go into teaching. Nick launched into his trademark systemic lament about everything from corrupt charter schools to incurious students to the government, itself. “It’s totally corrupt,” Nick said.

Victor, despite his optimism, agreed. “I know. We hire them and they sklew [screw] you!” As we were leaving, I thought back to the conversation I’d overheard between a Chicago cop and the owner of a bookstore about the Mayan prophecies and all of the buzz about immanent doom and apocalypse. The cop said that if the world ends, at least he’d be spared from going home to his wife. I wanted to know if Victor shared the cop’s humorous pessimism. “Do you think the world is going to end?”

“No,” Victor said, laughing; that golden crease. “I believe in my Buddha. He say no,” he said, before pausing. “I hope not!” Nick pointed out that Buddhists teach that the world is eternal, that it has no end. Victor seemed to concur. The world’s end, however, seemed, for him, a more minor matter compared to our particular prospects. As we were leaving, he piped up jocundly, “Good luck! I hope you get a job!” As I walked out the door, I could feel Victor’s smile on my back.