Create demand-driven solutions for employers to get the unemployed and underemployed back to work.
Continuously meet employers’ talent needs to create economic opportunity for the unemployed and underemployed
Lead with Integrity
Serve Our Diverse Stakeholder Community
Demonstrate Professional Excellence
Join Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and become an integral part of a vibrant, entrepreneurial team focused on improving the lives and economic mobility of the unemployed and under-employed in the Chicagoland area (2017 Impact Report).
“Skills” is an extraordinary public-private partnership providing demand-driven solutions which match businesses with unmet hiring needs to qualified, unemployed and under-employed job seekers. Ourinnovative demand driven model reflects a paradigm shift from the common approach of preparing the unemployed to be “job-ready”. In contrast, Skills first builds relationships with businesses, identifying their talent demands and obtaining commitments to hire. Skills then connects them with talented, under and unemployed jobseekers to fill roles across an array of industries and occupations. This demand-driven approach provides the missing link between job-ready candidates and the positions employers need to fill.
Launched in September 2012, Skills has placed over 5,600 unemployed and underemployed job seekers in positions with over 70 of our employer partners, including United Airlines, ULTA Beauty, Walgreens, Bank of America, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, GAP, Exelon, CDW, Rush University Medical Center, and The University of Chicago.
In 2016 Skills expanded to its first affiliate site, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future (SRIF). Set up as its own nonprofit organization with a local executive director and board of directors, SRIF quickly gained a foothold in Rhode Island as a solution for businesses and job seekers, and placed over 350 individuals into jobs in the first year of operation. SRIF represented a watershed moment for Skills, as the business intermediary concept developed in Chicago was proven to have value on a national level.
Building on five years of increasing success, in December of 2017 Skills launched “Beyond the Diploma”, an innovative employment initiative addressing the problem of chronic youth unemployment in Chicago. Partnering in a unified effort with leading businesses, City Colleges of Chicago, and community partners, “Beyond the Diploma” provides participants (age 16 – 24) with career pathways and educational advancement opportunities thru a holistic approach to addressing the city’s youth unemployment rate.
In 2015 - 2017, Skills commissioned New Growth Group – a third-party evaluator – to determine the long-term impact of Skills’ model on job seekers placed. The study found that candidates placed by Skills earned, on average, $6,120 per year more and achieved a 20% higher retention rate at the one-year mark than individuals in a comparison group (insert link to New Growth Study report).
While Skills is an organization deeply focused on delivering the highest quality service to our clients, our staff continually communicate that they believe the most important reason they work at Skills is because of our mission. Working at Skills, one has the opportunity to utilize their professional talents to contribute to the organization, learn from a top tier staff, and experience the impact of their dedicated service every day. If you have a desire to not simply go to work, but rather to be inspired by your work and change lives, Skills is the ideal organization.
People are at the center of our work at Skills. Individuals like Gwen who were unemployed and didn’t know where to turn looked to Skills. Gwen’s experience and story is not unique, thousands of other unemployed and underemployed job seekers have experienced the impact of Skills. Read more about Gwen.
Skills for Chicagoland’s Future is seeking a Vice President of Community and Strategic Partnerships. This leader will craft a vision for Skills’ strategy for engaging / partnering with the key community based organizations and stakeholders in alignment with Skills’ overall strategic plan. He/she will build key partnerships and strengthen existing relationships with community leaders, nonprofit organizations, educators, and government officials, for both Skills’ adult and youth work. This newly created leadership role will report to the CEO and serve as a member of the senior leadership team.
Major Duties & Responsibilities
Develop a community partnership and engagement strategy which is aligned with Skills’ three year strategic plan, and optimizes Skills’ effectiveness in providing job opportunities for the underserved populations in Chicago.
Identify and build relationships with key community based organizations with whom Skills currently does or should actively partner, including nonprofit agencies, neighborhood organizations, educational institutions and government; when applicable serve as the primary liaison or point of contact for Skills with the counterpart at the community organization.
Position Skills as an advocate and collaborative partner with key community based organizations in joint efforts to provide thought leadership, position for joint funding, and create employment opportunities for the unemployed and under-employed of Chicago.
Develop change management processes within Skills to solicit community feedback and use the information to inform our work.
Provide strategic guidance and input to Skills leadership of all programs and initiatives, in order to ensure the perspectives and impact on our key community partners are understood and addressed. Serve as an advocate for strategic partnerships internally and externally.
Create formal agreements with strategic organizations, administer and monitor memos of understanding, establish goal targets for collective outcomes, and measure on success or challenges. Manage community engagement RFP processes as appropriate.
Provide input to the Skills’ programmatic teams on strategic partners’ collaboration inputs to Skills programming model.
Serve as the point of contact on Skills evaluation efforts and manage evaluation projects as appropriate.
This leader may be called upon to act as the main representative for Skills with media organizations.
Desired Experience and Knowledge Requirements
10-15+ years of experience at a management level focusing on community affairs/engagement preferably in Chicago and the surrounding area
S/he must be a solutions-based leader who champions strategic, data-informed decision-making, industry best practices, and an ethos of continuous improvement and transparency.
Excellent problem solver who can think creatively and works well with and within teams
Strong understanding and knowledge of Chicago’s underserved communities and issues impacting these populations
Prior experience in workforce development and knowledge of Chicago nonprofits a plus
Strong interpersonal written and oral communication skills
Collaborative leader with vision and the ability to engender trust
Ability to lead cross-functionally by influence as opposed to direct-line reporting structures
Ability to adapt to changing business needs as well as changing needs of the communities we serve
Financial proficiency /business acumen required
Prior media experience a plus
Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Additional Salary Information: Commensurate with experience with a robust benefits package.
About Skills for Chicagoland's Future
Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills) is a nonprofit organization that creates demand-driven solutions for employers to get the unemployed and underemployed back to work. We work to improve the trajectory and economic mobility of the under and unemployed by meeting the talent needs of employers.Launched in 2012, Skills has placed more than 5,600 unemployed and underemployed job seekers into employment through strong partnerships with nearly 50 local employers. Skills is chaired by Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and governed by a Board of Directors comprised of 22 chief executive and human resources officers from Chicago-area corporations. The public-private partnership is funded by the City of Chicago and The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, as well as a wide range of foundations and corporations. For more information, please visit www.skillsforchicagolandsfuture.com.