WBC Pilot Program Placed 1,000+ People on Path to Manufacturing Careers


1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing Ends with Key Takeaways to Support Continued Job Growth in the Industry    

World Business Chicago’s 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing program placed more than 1,000 people in jobs and training programs that will put them on the path to manufacturing careers, since it launched in January 2015. The innovative program brought together workforce development providers to collaborate and connected skilled talent with open positions. Having achieved its goal, the program came to an end last month, leaving key insights on how to support job growth in the industry moving forward.

With nearly 13,000 manufacturing establishments operating in the Chicagoland area, 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing program helped 162 companies address their hiring needs, maximizing productivity and bolstering Chicago’s economy. Additionally, the program has helped more than 400 people who were formerly incarcerated find jobs.

“1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing has made a real, tangible impact on the region’s manufacturing sector by providing jobs for Chicagoans,” World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn said. “We are proud of the success of the program, which was a unique collaboration between industry, government and non-profits. We look forward to working with our partners to continue to build Chicagoland’s advanced manufacturing workforce.”

The 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing program focused on three areas of need: raising awareness of manufacturing jobs in Chicago and the region’s manufacturing sector; increasing capacity at existing workforce organizations; and providing systems for workforce development providers to coordinate in order to more efficiently match job seekers to jobs and provide training programs that meet the needs of area manufacturing businesses.

The program also leveraged training programs currently available through the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and the College to Careers program at City College of Chicago’s Daley College. Mayor Emanuel launched the College to Careers program in 2011 to help close the skills gap and ensure Chicago residents are prepared for jobs in high-growth industries such as advanced manufacturing.

The program provided the platform for nine community-based organizations to work together to match residents with open jobs and training programs. The 1000 Jobs host organizations included: Alliance for Industry and Manufacturing; Bethel New Life; Chicago Urban League; Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago; Instituto del Progreso Latino; Jane Addams Resource Corporation; OAI, Inc.; Safer Foundation; and the Technology and Manufacturing Association.

1000 Jobs was funded by over $1.5 million in public and private contributions, including $400,000 from the City of Chicago. The program was launched by the WBC Advisory Council for Chicagoland Manufacturing with the support of key partners, including ASK Power, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, the Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliances, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and more than 50 additional manufacturing industry, non-profit and government leaders.

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