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Employment initiative to create Chicago jobs

Posted on December 31, 2017

A new initiative directed at youth is creating more Chicago jobs.

Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills) launched Beyond the Diploma, an innovative new demand-driven youth employment initiative that will connect unemployed and underemployed youth to jobs with career pathways and educational advancement. Beyond the Diploma will take a comprehensive and holistic approach that convenes Chicago’s leading businesses, City Colleges of Chicago and community partners in a unified effort to address the city’s youth unemployment rate.

“Skills for Chicagoland’s Future has already put thousands of our residents to work and Beyond the Diploma represents the next step,” Mayor Emanuel said. “By combining the power of our businesses with the talent and education in our City Colleges, our students have a new avenue for their careers and a new path to success.”

Walgreens, CDW, Freedman Seating and Rush University Medical Center will provide jobs with career pathways to program participants. The City Colleges of Chicago will provide education opportunities and targeted skills training. These “earn and learn” opportunities, combined with mentoring and support from The Chicago Urban League, One Million Degrees and Cara will provide youth with the support necessary to succeed in employment and advance their careers. Through Beyond the Diploma, Skills aims to place 1,125 high school graduates into jobs.

Recruitment has commenced to fill Beyond the Diploma opportunities at Walgreens. Walgreens is the lead “beacon” employer partner for Beyond the Diploma, and will serve approximately 25 Chicago youth in its first cohort, with additional cohorts planned for the future.

Participants are scheduled to commence work at Walgreens in spring 2018 and begin classes at City Colleges in the summer. Youth ages 18 to 24 can apply at scfjobs.com/pivot.

Beyond the Diploma’s program for high school graduates is part of a multi-phased approach to tackle youth unemployment from high school through post-college graduation. Skills based the program on a single guiding hypothesis: An employer-driven approach that results in a real, committed job – coupled with soft skills training, mentorship and support necessary to persist in employment – will create positive impact for both young adults and businesses.