August 3, 2022

The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership Recipient of $18.5 Million Good Jobs Challenge Grant from U.S. Economic Development Administration

Chicago’s proposal, Good Jobs Chicago, was selected as one of 32 awardees, out of 509 total applications

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (the Partnership) and World Business Chicago today announced the Partnership is a recipient of the Good Jobs Challenge Grant for their employer-led workforce development program and will be awarded $18.5M from the US Economic Development Administration. Chicago’s proposal, submitted with the support and assistance of the City of Chicago, World Business Chicago, and Cook County is one of 32 awardees out of 509 applications from all states and territories.   

"On behalf of the City of Chicago, I am proud to congratulate the Partnership for winning one of the EDA's Good Jobs Challenge grants," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "These grants support organizations that are doing phenomenal work to upskill individuals and connect them to good-paying, in-demand careers. For years, the Partnership has done just that for our residents, and I am excited to see how this grant allows them to deepen this important work through Good Jobs Chicago."  

The EDA launched the $500M Good Jobs Challenge to get Americans into quality jobs by building and strengthening systems and partnerships, bringing together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. The City applauds the industry leaders and community organizations that stepped up and partnered for the benefit of all Chicagoans.  

“In its notice that our proposal had been chosen, the EDA stated that it stood out for ‘its ability to create good job opportunities for Americans to help local industries and economies develop the skilled workforce needed to innovate and compete globally,’” says Partnership Interim CEO Patrick Combs. “We are thrilled to have been chosen in such a competitive process and look forward to investing these funds to foster employer-led workforce training in high-demand, high-growth sectors, to reach underserved communities with career-pathway job opportunities.”    

The winning proposal, dubbed Good Jobs Chicago (GJC), is an employer-led, community driven initiative to promote economic resiliency and growth for Chicago and Cook County. The focus of GJC is to create durable and resilient career pathways into intermediate and mid-level jobs in Chicago’s recovery task force sectors. These jobs go beyond family sustaining wages to family wealth building wages in industries that are essential to Chicagoland’s economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19 particularly on Chicago’s South and West Sides. Although high-quality jobs are in demand in the region, businesses continuously see shortages of talent to meet their needs. The GJC is being launched in four high-growth sectors with existing or emerging sector partnerships. The four sectors included in this grant and the launch of the GJC are: healthcare; information technology (IT or “tech”); manufacturing; and transportation, distribution, and logistics (TDL).   

In addition to supporting career pathways, GJC programming will provide financial literacy training and wraparound services to help families in underserved communities address wealth gaps that drive further inequality across our region.