Skills Bridges Equity Gaps in Chicago’s Job Market, Placing Thousands of Job Seekers from Disinvested Communities & Communities Hardest Hit by Unemployment
CHICAGO –Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills) celebrated its 10th anniversary this morning with hundreds of business leaders at its annual Employment Champions Breakfast, highlighting its work to create equitable pathways to employment for Chicagoans from communities hardest hit by unemployment and communities that have experienced historic lack of job opportunities and investment.
Skills’ founding president and CEO Marie Trzupek Lynch marked the 10-year milestone by announcing the organization has now placed over 10,600 unemployed and underemployed individuals into quality jobs and career paths since opening its doors in 2012.
“I am tremendously proud and grateful of the work we have accomplished with our partners over the last 10 years at Skills for Chicagoland’s Future,” Lynch said. “With an incredible team, we are working every day to address systemic problems in the job market and provide opportunities to talented workers. Our innovative approach can accelerate economic equity and increase access to careers for every Chicagoan, no matter the neighborhood they live in.”
Founded and developed in 2012, Skills is a leading nonprofit that has flipped the traditional workforce model to address unemployment and underemployment. Skills’ “jobs-first” approach starts by going directly to employers to understand their hiring needs, company culture and long-term goals. Skills then connects those employers to unemployed individuals who Skills has helped coach, prepare and advocate for to find employment.
In its 10 years, Skills has expanded its resources and operations to the South and West Sides of Chicago and expanded its employer partnerships with 130 businesses in Chicago to better fill hiring needs with traditionally overlooked job seekers to create a more equitable and inclusive approach to hiring. With an affiliate site already established in Rhode Island, Skills is also engaging in an ambitious national expansion campaign to bring its innovative workforce model to 25 new cities over the next decade.
“Skills for Chicagoland’s Future has been invaluable to Hyatt and an ally to the business community,” said Mark Hoplamazian, Skills’ Board Chair and president & CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “As a global hospitality company dedicated to creating a culture of opportunity for all, we are proud to work with Skills to open doors to new and meaningful career pathways especially for people from under-resourced communities, with the ultimate goal of building a more inclusive workforce throughout Chicago.””
At its breakfast event today, Skills announced it had achieved its $1.5 million event fundraising goal. Skills also recognized employers and community organizations that champion and advocate for the unemployed and underemployed across the city, including those partners that have been working together with Skills since it was founded. Jewel-Osco was also recognized with the 2022 Champion for the Unemployed.
For more information, visit Skills’ website.