Announcements from Chicago's Workforce Development Funder Collaborative

September 2019 
Healthcare Collaborative Launches New Website

The Chicagoland Healthcare Workforce Collaborative, an independent consortium overseen by volunteer employer co-chairs and comprised of approximately 15 employer members, strategic partners, and funders throughout Chicagoland, recently launched its official website. The new website offers a sleek interface to help healthcare employers and industry stakeholders navigate information about ways to eliminate employment barriers, and support a strong and qualified workforce. Check out the website here!
Funder Alliance Announces 
N ew Learning Community  Information Sessions

To continue the success of our Work-Based Learning Workshops we have developed a new monthly "Learning Community" information series kicking off Tuesday, October 22nd from 1:00-2:30 pm at The Chicago Community Trust. The first topic will be on Apprenticeships and we will provide  updates on collective efforts to expand youth apprenticeships, on State policy and funding for apprenticeship expansion, and on the Apprenticeship 2020 fund.  In just 24 hours, our registration reached room capacity!

Additional topics will include an update on  the Obama Building Equity Fund, the Genesis Project, the Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy and the Progressive Pathways Fund,  among others. Check your inbox for upcoming event registration details.
New Report On Racial Equity

Our Executive Director, Matt Bruce, served on the advisory panel for the National Skills Coalition's latest report, The Roadmap to Racial Equity. This report builds the case for creating a racially inclusive  workforce, with recommendations for both state & federal workforce development  policies that advance racial equity. Read the accompanying blog or the full  report:
Funder Alliance Member Spotlight

The Funder Alliance is supported by over 30 workforce development funders. We will be featuring one of the them in each of our upcoming newsletters. Thank you Polk Bros. Foundation for your support!

What projects are you most proud of that your Foundation has supported in 2019 so far?   In 2019, we at Polk Bros. Foundation were especially proud to have supported the work and continued progress of the Chicago Construction Opportunities Group and its vision of a more equitable construction industry. We've been encouraged that construction buyers have been receptive to new collaborations and intentionally developing opportunities for women and people of color - especially African Americans, who have historically been excluded from construction employment and contracts.

What projects are you anticipating or excites you for FY20? This coming year, we look forward to exploring ways CWFA can help Illinois secure and maximize federal SNAP Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) funding, a resource Illinois has not fully accessed. We also look forward to working with new leadership at the Illinois Department of Human Services on workforce opportunities for SNAP customers.


Why is your foundation a member of the Funder Alliance? Participating in CWFA allows us to help engage employers on how to create opportunities and develop the skills of those who have historically been left on the margins in Chicago. We also believe the funder collaborative model - pooling the resources of private philanthropy - is particularly appealing, given its potential for greater impact.


At Polk Bros. Foundation, we are particularly proud of Chicago Workforce Funders Alliance's role in standing up the Raise the Floor Alliance. Members of this coalition of eight worker centers have improved workers' rights and job quality by successfully advocating for landmark legislation including the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and the Responsible Job Creation Act.

Thank you for your interest in the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance. Follow us on social media: Twitter or LinkedIn or visit our website at