Dear Supporters, Partners, and Friends:
As we reflect on 2022, it was a milestone year for Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills). As the organization entered its tenth year, we achieved a goal that seemed impossible in 2012; we placed our 10,000th Chicagoan into a job. More than the number, it is about the people themselves. A job can be life changing, and it is an honor that so many people have trusted Skills to help them along in their employment journey. Additionally, over 70% of those individuals reside on the south and west sides of Chicago.
Beyond the numbers, we have kept our promise to locate in underserved neighborhoods and in 2022 began operating out of North Lawndale. The Skills Neighborhood Link office in North Lawndale is housed at the North Lawndale Employment Network, and we’re thrilled and thankful to have them as a partner. With already operating locations in the Loop and Englewood, this network of office locations across Chicago can help to serve more job seekers in need of work closer to where they live.
Beyond Chicago and Rhode Island, our national expansion efforts have yielded a new site in Phoenix which will begin operating in 2023. We are also so proud that our model continues to serve as a best practice as we continue to work with cities and regions across the country to bring the Skills model to their area.
Now more than ever, employers must commit to hiring a more diverse workforce and seeking talent in new places. Our approach is the fastest way to level the economic playing field, especially in Chicago’s underinvested communities. While we are making great strides, until job equity and inclusive hiring are the ‘norms,’ there will continue to be much work to do.
Lastly, Skills turned to a new chapter as 2022 came to a close. Skills’ founding CEO, Marie Trzupek Lynch, departed the organization, and we are forever thankful for her passionate drive. Her work led to these outstanding results, and put Skills on a trajectory to continue to grow and impact more lives. The most impactful legacy Marie left Skills was a powerful, high-functioning team that hasn’t missed a beat as we continue to extend Skills’ reach and impact.
The work is not done and these meaningful strides over the past ten years are only the beginning of our story. We will not be done until the path to economic equity is within sight for everyone. This can be done if we all work together. Please find a way to hire, donate, or volunteer at Skills for Chicagoland’s Future in 2023.
We look forward to expanding and strengthening our partnerships and growing our impact in 2023 and beyond. Thank you for your ongoing support.
President & Chief Executive Officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Board Chair, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future