Emanuel, Preckwinkle Announce Skills For Chicagoland’s Future
September 13, 2012 09:27 AM
New local model to use business-community college partnerships to put Chicagoans back to work.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced the launch of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (SCF), a workforce development program — modeled after the nationwide Skills for America’s Future initiative — that aims to put Chicagoans back to work by fostering partnerships between businesses and community colleges to ensure workers are trained with employer-needed skills. As a local model working with a variety of stakeholders in the community, SCF is the first metropolitan model in the Skills for America’s Future’s national network.
SCF, in partnership with City Colleges of Chicago and other workforce development partners, identifies the immediate hiring needs of employers up front to increase the likelihood of job seekers obtaining a full-time position. SCF connects employers with qualified, unemployed job seekers and/or the resources necessary to fund training programs to equip job seekers with the skills to fill those positions. By responding to the needs of employers, SCF aims to decrease the number of unfilled jobs in Chicago and Cook County, decrease the time it takes to fill job openings and place unemployed people in open jobs while continually improving the efficiency of these programs.
Listen: Bowen Hopper, Vice President of SCF, discusses how the program helps people develop skills for technology and other industries on WGN Radio.
The Joyce Foundation Employment Program was an early funder of SCF through a grant to Chicago Career Tech, which led the development process. Additionally, Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding serves on the Skills for America’s Future Advisory Board, was appointed Vice Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago in 2011, and she will serve on the board of the new SCF effort to further the Colleges’ and Foundation’s commitment to getting Chicago back to work.
In less than two years, Skills for America’s Future, an employer-led policy initiative of the Aspen Institute, has grown into a national network of over 300 business-community college partnerships. By sharing models of success and lessons learned, Skills for America’s Future helps employers, community colleges, and other workforce development partners learn from best practices and build partnerships based on what works. Skills for America’s Future will promote the SCF launch throughout its national network.
Chicago Tribune: Chicago, Cook County create Skills for Chicagoland's Future jobs program