Grants will support job training, coaching, and placement in neighborhoods that have experienced higher rates of unemployment and lower income than the rest of Chicago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2023
(Chicago …) We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery announced $1 million in funding for seven organizations preparing residents for and connecting them with better employment opportunities in six predominantly Black and Latinx communities in Chicago.
We Rise Together is a funders collaborative working with community members to respond to the urgent economic needs of Black and Latinx communities through three key strategies: investing in disinvested neighborhoods, strengthening Black and Latinx businesses, and increasing quality, resilient employment.
The workforce grants are intended to narrow the gaps in employment and income that persist between Chicago’s predominantly Black and Latinx communities and the city as a whole. Research shows that median household income is between $20,000 and $40,000 lower, and unemployment rates are up to three times higher in the neighborhoods where We Rise Together is investing in workforce solutions than in Chicago overall.
“A key ingredient in improving the economic outlook for Chicago’s Black and Latinx communities is increasing quality employment opportunities for residents,” said Christen Wiggins, program director, We Rise Together. “Our latest grants fund organizations to provide job training, coaching, and placement in six of the same communities where We Rise Together is also investing in new real estate developments and supporting Black and Latinx-owned businesses.”
Grants in this round were awarded to the following organizations:
- Austin Coming Together, $175,000: To fund the Austin Workforce Collaborative to connect Austin area workforce agencies and to provide direct services to Austin residents.
- Chicago Commons, $100,000: To fund the Pathways to Collective Impact Initiative serving Back of the Yards and Little Village that prepares working parents for jobs in the field of childcare.
- PODER, $175,000: To support the partnership between PODER and Skills for Chicagoland’s Future to provide job coaching and connections in the new PODER HQ facility in Gage Park.
- Cara Collective, $160,000: To fund support services and career coaching provided by Cara and Cleanslate at the new Cara Englewood facility.
- North Lawndale Employment Network, $175,000: To support the U-Turn permitted and Empower Now programs which provide career coaching and training to residents of North Lawndale with significant barriers to employment.
- Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation NFP, $100,000: To provide support for the job training and coaching services provided to Back of the Yards and Englewood residents who have significant barriers to employment.
- Teamwork Englewood, $115,000: To support the job training and coaching programs provided by Teamwork Englewood to residents of Englewood.
With this round of grants, We Rise Together has strategically invested more than $35 million since September 2021, including support for more than 30 neighborhood anchor real estate investments. Of these projects, nine have opened providing immediate impact: new activities for young people, new jobs, much-needed healthcare, childcare, recreation, healthy food, and more.
About We Rise Together
We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery is a funders collaborative working with community members to respond to the urgent economic needs of Black and Latinx communities. Our model for community investment at scale supports coordinated, community-led commercial and economic development. Through strategic grants to community-directed real estate development projects that leverage additional investment, we are building thriving neighborhoods and a stronger Chicago. Learn more at wrtogether.org.