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Ever since Pastor Corey Brooks climbed to the roof on November 20, 2021, to raise funds for his much-needed community center on the south side Chicago, it attracted attention from all four corners of America. One demographic stands out: former Chicago residents, as well as companies now based elsewhere that have their roots in Chicago. Their love for Chicago has never faded, and they are sad to see the city fight hard against violence and poverty. Many see the pastor and his vision as the best hope to end decades of decline to begin the path of real and lasting progress.

One such company is Crane Co., an industrial manufacturing company now based in Stamford, Connecticut. With profits of $ 3 billion annually, the bosses of Crane Co. could certainly ignore the lone pastor on the roof who is fighting for his district. Yet President and CEO Max Mitchell knew that without Chicago roots his company would not be where it is today. He turned to the pastor to ask if he could spend the night on the roof to better understand the community. On 128th day of his vigil on the roof, the pastor warmly received Mitchell on the roof. Both men sat by the fire to talk.

The pastor began at Mitchell’s request to discuss the beginning of Crane Co.

“When the trustees of the Crane Foundation heard your message [on Fox News]we linked it to the story of RT Crane, which started right here in Chicago in 1855, ”Mitchell began. – He was an entrepreneur [who] started as a one-man foundry and built it as a multimillion-dollar diversified industry. ”

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The faucet started with the production and sale of brass and plumbing products. They soon won contracts to supply pipelines and heating equipment. Their first clients were the Cook County Courthouse and Joliet State Prison. By 1872, the company employed 700 people and produced more than $ 1 million a year.

Mitchell continued his story: R. T. Crane “was devoted, like Pastor Brooks, and he really cared about Chicago. He cared about the people and was very charitable. He donated money and set up foundations back in 1914 that still give On this day. “

– Wow.

Mitchell then revealed that RT Crane shares a pastor-like vision in that he believes you can work with your hands and become very successful. R. T. Crane believed in this to such an extent that he was against the higher education of his time.

“I think it was a vision that on the one hand was maybe extreme, but he was very passionate about apprenticeships, professions, how young people can learn skills and professions that will help them with the rest of the work. a career, to be successful in life, “Mitchell said.” I think it’s the same thing you’re so passionate about. “


The pastor nodded in agreement. His community center has just graduated sixth building class where all 11 students aged 18 to 50 were employed or received offers.

But the pastor knows that the work is still far away. In the previous Revelation on the Roof, former employee of the Chicago Teachers Union revealed to the pastor that Chicago public schools were systematically destroying vocational programs. For a city of three million, there are only a few teachers, carpenters and mechanics. And there is no indication that city officials will restore these pathways to opportunities, leaving concerned citizens such as the pastor to resume these trade programs in the nonprofit sector.

I wonder how RT Crane would react to this predicament when so many idle and inexperienced hands become the tools of the devil. It has been more than 100 years since RT Crane walked the streets of Chicago, but the idea of ​​trade as a way out of poverty and violence remains as eternal as ever.

Watch as Fox News checks Pastor Corey Brooks every day with a new one Opening on the roof.

For more information, visit HOOD project

Eli Steele is a documentary filmmaker and writer. His latest film is “What Killed Michael Brown?” Twitter: @Hebro_Steele.

Terrela Elena’s camera.

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