September 23, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Announces $1.6 Million Workforce Development Investment to Put More Chicagoans Back to Work

Funding from Chicago Department of Aviation to connect unemployed local residents with job opportunities at companies that contract with O’Hare International Airport

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will provide up to $1.6 million in funding over three years for worker training and direct placement program assistance to help unemployed Chicago residents obtain positions at companies that contract with O’Hare International Airport. The funding will be utilized by Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (SCF), a public-private partnership working to close the skills gap by helping to match businesses that have current, unmet hiring needs with qualified, unemployed job seekers.

Funding for this effort comes from damages collected by the CDA from contractors who failed to meet the requirement of the Chicago Residency Ordinance, which specifies that penalties collected must be utilized for such worker training programs.

“This $1.6 million investment will provide unemployed Chicago residents with direct job placement and customized training in the skills they need to get back to work in our modern economy,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This model works because it focuses on the current and emerging hiring needs of local businesses in our city. This kind of strategic partnership between public and private sectors is essential for the economic future of Chicago.”

This investment is another example of the City of Chicago’s ongoing commitment to workforce and economic development – from the ongoing efforts to attract and retain companies in Chicago to the work being done in the city’s STEM high schools and in the City Colleges of Chicago through the College to Careers program.

SCF’s focus is to shrink the skills gap in the Chicago area and help employers find qualified, unemployed job seekers to fill available positions.  Since launching in September 2012, SCF has helped more than 25 companies fill critical vacancies and has helped place nearly 400 unemployed candidates into local jobs.

“Our program’s success stems from our ability to develop close relationships with area employers, learn their hiring needs and challenges, and put quality, pre-screened candidates directly in front of them quickly and efficiently,” said Marie Trzupek Lynch, president and CEO, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. “This CDA funding will allow SCF to cover the sourcing and screening costs of direct placement and some of the cost of training programs needed to help companies that do business with O’Hare prepare unemployed Chicago job seekers for available positions.” 

SCF’s services are provided at no cost to unemployed job seekers. Employers can contact SCF to assist with recruitment, placement and training efforts related to their skills gap and hiring challenges. Unemployed job seekers in Chicago can apply for jobs or register online at to be included in the SCF database for placement consideration.

The work done by SCF supports and complements the efforts of Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and City Colleges of Chicago’s College to Careers initiative.

As a public-private partnership, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future is funded by the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, foundation support and multiple private sector donations, including a lead corporate gift from JP Morgan Chase Foundation.

For more information about SCF,

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