CHICAGO, May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Skills for Chicagoland's Future (Skills)—a public-private partnership that meets the hiring needs of employers by offering innovative solutions to place qualified, unemployed and underemployed candidates into available positions—announced today that the organization placed than 1,120 formerly unemployed and underemployed workers into jobs with more than 40 Chicagoland employers in 2016. Skills has a goal of placing 1,200 job seekers in 2017, and the organization has already secured commitments from 49 employers.
Since its founding in September 2012, Skills has placed nearly 4,000 unemployed and underemployed job seekers into positions with more than 60 companies. Key 2016 employer partners included: AIM Specialty Health, CDW, Divvy, Freedman Seating, Harris & Harris, HMS Host, Hudson Group, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Pete's Fresh Market, Shiftgig, Sinai Health System, Swissport, Ulta Beauty, University of Chicago Medical Center, and Walgreens.
"Despite the improving job market, many qualified unemployed and underemployed job seekers struggle to get hired because they don't have a strong network," said Marie Trzupek Lynch, founding president and CEO of Skills for Chicagoland's Future. "Job seekers in high-unemployment, high-poverty neighborhoods are more likely to face this 'access gap,' so I'm proud that Skills' 2016 impact was once again the greatest in these Chicago communities."
Eleven returning partners have made substantial increases in commitments to hire this year, totaling 145 new commitments to hire. New employer partners for 2017 include Advocate Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Caraustar Industries, Jewel-Osco, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and SSP America. Skills will add to this slate of commitments by establishing new employer partnerships throughout the coming year.
"Skills for Chicagoland's Future is an important city partner that has put Chicago on the cutting edge for developing solutions to reduce unemployment," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Every one of these 1,120 placements changes a life, strengthens a family and lifts up a community. I applaud all of the employers that have committed to hire through Skills in 2017, and I'm calling on our business community to step up and help Skills surpass their goal again this year."
Key statistics from Skills' 2016 impact include:
- Thirty-four percent of placed job seekers had been unemployed for a period of six months or more, with 12 months being the average unemployment period.
- Eighty-one percent of job seekers Skills placed were African-American.
- Nearly half of all placed job seekers resided in South and West Side neighborhoods with high unemployment rates (ranging from 8.9 percent to 13.9 percent) and high poverty rates (ranging from 24.9 percent to 46.2 percent). Neighborhoods that were home to most placements included Auburn Gresham, Austin, Chatham and Avalon Park.
A returning employer partner, NorthShore University Health System hired 33 unemployed and underemployed job seekers through Skills last year, representing a 230 percent increase in placements since first partnering with Skills in 2015.
"Our partnership with Skills allows us to make a local impact in the lives of formerly unemployed Chicagoans by connecting us with talented and diverse individuals that would be difficult for us to find through traditional hiring practices," said William R. Luehrs, chief human resources officer at NorthShore University Health System.
Long-time partner University of Chicago Medicine hired 58 formerly unemployed and underemployed job seekers last year with the help of Skills.
"As the largest employer in the South Side of Chicago, the University of Chicago embraces an obligation to provide gainful employment opportunities to individuals living in our community," said Bob Hanley, vice president and chief human resources officer at University of Chicago Medicine. "University of Chicago Medicine's three-year partnership with Skills has allowed us to further this mission."
Skills is currently in the process of implementing a three-year strategic growth plan aimed to get 5,000 unemployed and underemployed job seekers back to work, innovate new demand-driven placement offerings for employers, sustain and diversify funding and to serve as a labor market thought leader on demand-driven solutions leading to systemic change.
Unemployed and underemployed Cook County residents can create a job seeker profile and search for employment opportunities through Skills at www.SCFjobs.com
Skills for Chicagoland's Future's full 2016 Impact Report can be viewed at https://www.skillsforchicagolandsfuture.com/about-us/impact-results/
About Skills for Chicagoland's Future
Skills for Chicagoland's Future (Skills) is a nonprofit, public-private partnership committed to returning unemployed and underemployed job seekers to work by creating demand-driven solutions for employers committed to hiring this population. Skills meets the hiring needs of employers by connecting them with qualified job seekers and providing innovative, customized hiring solutions. Skills is governed by a board of directors comprised of 23 chief executive, finance and human resources officers from the Chicago area. The organization is funded by the City of Chicago and The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, as well as a wide range of foundations and corporations. For more information, visit www.skillsforchicagolandsfuture.com.
Contact: James Chase
Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications
for Skills for Chicagoland's Future
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SOURCE Skills for Chicagoland’s Future