To develop a workforce that is skilled, productive and competitive in today's environment, leaders in the Chicago area need to bring workforce systems and strategies to a new level. Required are regional analysis, coordination and flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing needs of employers and individuals. Also needed are accessible “on ramps” to careers as well as education for the least skilled individuals. Programs must prepare workers to contribute to the productivity of employers; evaluation must account for programs’ net effect on the local economy as well as on individual clients.
- Skill training and job placements are made with industries expected to be sustained or grow with the new economy.
- Individuals are placed in employment positions with livable wages.
- Workforce training and development systems feature clear economic goals and system performance measures.
- Clients who enter the labor market with the help of intermediaries do not displace other job seekers.
- Job trainees obtain enduring, transferrable skills.
- Workforce programs are linked to employer location decisions and enhance firm productivity.
Grant making in workforce development
The Trust's grant funding seeks to reduce unemployment and poverty in the Chicago region through projects that reduce unemployment and help workers to earn living wages, while strengthening Chicago-area businesses.
In 2013, The Chicago Community Trust awarded grants in this priority totaling $2,025,000.
- Develop capacity in individuals that will improve the productivity and profitability of firms in which they are hired
- Develop capacity in participants that is transferrable from one job to another
- Demonstrate high percentages of participants placed in jobs for which they were trained
- Provide value-added above conventional firm recruitment and employee development processes
- Provide workers such that, in their absence, a firm might close or leave Illinois
- Demonstrate that their job placements do not substitute for other qualified job seekers who may be applying to the same firm
- Assist persons with weak attachment to the labor force, or whose employment would likely result in savings to other social systems such as law enforcement, health care or public benefits
- Provide strong economic return on the cost of service provision
- Help workers to receive all compensation they are legally owed
- Help workers to combat workplace discrimination and have equal opportunities for advancement
- Help workers to maximize their potential in the workplace
- To the extent possible, work in collaboration with employers
- Provide a strong economic return on the cost of accomplishing project goals
Please direct all inquiries to Jim Lewis, Senior Program Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find more details about grant opportunities, and sign up for email notifications when they open, inside GrantCentral, our new online grant management system. Sign up and create an account for full access to grant programs at the Trust.