Announcements from Chicago's Workforce Development Funder Collaborative

Job Opportunity with the Alliance & Other Exciting News
Launching Reimagine Retail Chicago

The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program has awarded the Funder Alliance a grant of $200,000 to take part in Reimagine Retail, a project made possible through a $5.5 million grant awarded by the Walmart Foundation to the Aspen Institute in 2016. The award will create a new workforce partnership: Reimagine Retail Chicago, which will engage retail employers and deploy strategies to improve job quality and support advancement for retail workers in our region.

This funding will amplify the $500,000 grant the Walmart Foundation made directly to the Funder Alliance last year. That funding led to the creation of retail retention pilots with Youth Job Center, and two LISC Chicago Financial Opportunity Centers, and a project focused on scheduling practices in retail led by Women Employed

Reimagine Retail Chicago  will bring these Funder Alliance projects under one umbrella with the retail projects of four other Walmart Foundation supported partners in the region, including the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Thrive Chicago, and National Able. The additional support and thought partnership with Aspen will allow all of our retail workforce projects to improve coordination with each other and with employers. The shared initiative is united by the common vision that frontline retail jobs can be entry-points to career pathways and economic empowerment.

See below for more about the Director of Reimagine Retail position we will be filling to lead this new workforce partnership.
Partnering with President Obama on Apprenticeships

Last week President and Michelle Obama announced a $1 million contribution to the Funder Alliance. The Obamas believe that providing opportunities to gain entry into the workforce is one of the most significant ways in which we can invest in our youth and contribute to Chicago. Their contribution was part of the broader announcement of their vision for the Obama Presidential Center, and the ways in which it will invigorate our South Side. We will use this support to bring together a comprehensive effort to open up apprenticeship pathways into the building trades for adults, especially young adults, whose communities have historically been excluded from careers in this sector. We applaud the Obama family for dedicating their own resources to this difficult but important work; and we are committed to ensuring their gift catalyzes not just great apprenticeship opportunities for young people, but the kind of systems and structural changes that the Obamas have inspired all of us to work towards. 
The Funder Alliance is Hiring!

As part of the Reimagine Retail Chicago initiative described above, the Funder Alliance is hiring a third staff member. We are seeking to hire a Director for the new initiative. Please follow this link for the official posting and share widely.  This is a great opportunity to build and lead a new, innovative workforce partnership, working with employers, with many of our region's leading workforce development agencies and funders, and with national thought leaders like The Aspen Institute.  The position is employed by and housed at The Chicago Community Trust, an equal opportunity employer.
Thanks so much for your interest in the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance. Follow us on social media: @Chi_WF_Funders