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We Bridge the Access Gap

We believe that everyone should have equal access to jobs. At Skills, we work to make that possible by reducing barriers to employment through partnering with leading companies ready to hire unemployed and underemployed job seekers. Jobs can be life-changing, and we're here to make that a reality.

We Start with the Job

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Our Mission

Create demand-driven solutions for employers to get the unemployed and underemployed back to work.

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Our Vision

Continuously meet employers' talent needs to create economic opportunity for the unemployed and underemployed.

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Our North Star

To increase the economic mobility of under- and unemployed talent by connecting them to quality jobs through our deep partnership and understanding of the unique human capital needs of our network of engaged employers.

We Prove that Equity Works

 

And we're committed to growing our impact over the next three years by scaling our demand-driven programs, diversifying job types, and driving innovation—with the end goal of placing 4,500 unemployed and underemployed candidates into roles that drive their career growth and financial mobility.

Learn about our Strategic Plan

12,150+

lifetime placements

130+

employer partners

60%

of 2023 placements are female

88%

of 2023 placements are BIPOC

$6,120

more earned by Skills placement each year

$278.1M

total wage impact

Meeting Job Seekers Where They Live

Over 70% of our applicants come from historically underserved neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West Sides. To make good on our commitment to reduce barriers to employment and build access to economic opportunity, we launched Skills Neighborhood Link, an initiative to provide resources and one-on-one support from the Skills team in city neighborhoods. We opened our Englewood office in July 2021, a co-located space in North Lawndale (partnership with North Lawndale Employment Network) in April 2022, and another co-located space in Gage Park (partnership with PODER) in March 2023.

Contact us to learn more

 

Expanding our Network

We recently announced plans to expand our jobs-first workforce development model to 25 sites nationally over the next 10 years. Current Skills sites in Chicago and Rhode Island have generated a combined economic impact of $307.3M since 2012.

Discover how you can transform lives and champion economic mobility in your city or region by joining the Skills network.

Learn more

OUR BOARD

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Mark S. Hoplamazian, Chair

President and Chief Executive Officer

Health Care Service Corporation

Manika Turnbull, Ph.D., Vice Chair

Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

United Airlines

Michael Bonds, Treasurer

Formerly Executive Vice President, Human Resources & Labor Relations

EY

Jeff Bilek

Partner, Central Talent Leader

BMO Harris Bank

Carolyn Booth

Head of Distribution, US Personal and Business Banking

McDonald's

Heidi Capozzi

EVP, Global Chief People Officer

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

John Challenger

Chief Executive Officer

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Michelle Conklin

Managing Director

CDW

Christina Corley

Chief Commercial and Operating Officer

Polk Bros Foundation

Gillian Darlow

Chief Executive Officer

Discover Financial Services

Andy Eichfeld

Formerly EVP, Chief Human Resources & Administrative Officer

HR Policy Association

Rich Floersch

Senior Strategic Advisor

CNO Financial Group, Inc.

Yvonne Franzese

Chief Human Resources Officer

Freedman Seating Co.

Craig Freedman

Chief Executive Officer

Northern Trust

Daniel Gamba

President, Asset Management

Old National Bank

Corliss Garner

Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Just Act Partners

Juatise Gathings

Founder

Accenture

Srron Graham

Managing Director, Accenture Strategy

Rush University Medical Center

Courtney Kammer

Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

Russell Reynolds

Seema Kathuria

Managing Director

Hub International

Mark Kendall

Executive Vice President

Kin + Carta

Kelly Manthey

CEO

AT&T

Eileen Mitchell

President of AT&T Illinois

Motorola Solutions

Kathi Moore

Corporate Vice President - Human Resources

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Malaika Myers

Chief Human Resources Officer

Vantage Airport Group; Midway Partnership

Sammy Patel

Vice President, Commercial, Vantage Airport Group; CEO, Midway Partnership

Ulta Beauty

Anita Ryan

Chief Human Resource Officer

KPMG

Claudia Saran

Vice Chair, Culture

Depaul University

Arbin Smith

Chief of Staff, VP for Strategic Initiatives

Endeavor Health

Dianna Sparacino

Chief Human Resources Officer

Jewel-Osco

Eric Stevenson

Vice President, Human Resources

Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Michael A. Wilder

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Audrey Williams-Lee

Formerly Chief People Officer

Discover

Jonita Wilson

Chief Diversity Officer

SKILLS BOARD CHAIRS

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Penny Pritzker

Founding Board Chair

Founder and Chairman of
 PSP Partners; Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce

2012-2013​

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Glenn Tilton


Former Midwest 
Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co; Former Chairman of United Continental Holdings

2013-2015

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Greg Brown


Chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions


2015-2018

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Mark Hoplamazian


President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation

2018-Present

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Mayra Alarcon

Vice President, National Expansion

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Bridget Altenburg

Chief Executive Officer

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Tabatha Cobb

Vice President, Programs

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Susan Dunseth

Vice President, Business Operations & Employer Engagement

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Kate Hermann Stone

Vice President, External Affairs

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Pamela Tully

President & Chief Operating Officer

Sarah Black

Director, Finance

Kim Dole

Director, Business Development & Operations

Reena Patel

Director, Business Development & Client Services

Yesenia Perez

Director, Learning & Development

Tanille Smith

Director, Strategic Initiatives

Join Our Team

Do you have a passion for workforce development and impacting the economic mobility of Chicago’s historically underserved communities? If you also value intellectual curiosity and data-driven solutions, innovation and change, and equity and integrity, we invite you to browse open positions at Skills and apply today.

Join Our Team