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Black History Month

Black history and the mission to create transformative changes are inexorably linked. That’s why this Black History Month, we’re celebrating Black excellence by elevating Black-owned businesses, challenging how we can better prepare people for the workforce, coaching organizations on how to more-effectively hire from Black and Brown communities, and continuing our work with the City of Chicago’s SPRING Forward program to give job seekers a fair chance here in Chicago.

Black Owned Business

Chicago’s Black entrepreneurs are a key part of our city’s economy and our communities. Head to our social media pages for a list of just a few of our favorite Black-owned businesses you can support with your patronage this February.

Conversations with Cara

Conversations with Cara is an engaging discussion centered around our work to eradicate poverty. Our next theme is: The Intersection of Education and Workforce Development on February 15. This is a free, virtual conversation. Will you be a part of the conversation?

Register for Conversations with Cara Here

Skills-Based Hiring

Over the course of our 33-year history, we’ve seen our job seekers overcome barriers that make employment difficult and – at times – impossible to find. That’s why we are partnering with leading employers across the United States who are successfully lifting long-standing requirements like 4-year college degrees while filling the gaps in their talent pool.

Black history is more than looking as what’s behind us, but about intentionally striving for an equitable future. Download our case study on BMO to learn how you can create that equitable future while satisfying your business’ ongoing needs.

SPRING Forward

Justice-involved individuals often end up living below the federal poverty level and face numerous barriers to employment ranging from stigma to gaps in work experience to lack of human capital. According to research conducted by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, roughly 46% of individuals released from custody in Illinois end up unemployed. A higher proportion of these individuals are Black and Brown. Through our work we know firsthand that employment is a key factor to reducing recidivism. Over the course of our history, we have seen an increase in the number of job seekers impacted by justice involvement and incarceration accessing our services. Many are often navigating the often-interconnected challenges of educational barriers, justice involvement, housing insecurity, and recovery. 

That’s why we are partnering with the City of Chicago and on a new program to bridge this gap: SPRING Forward. This program aims to find employment for Illinoisans who have been released from incarceration within the last 18 months. Learn more about SPRING Forward and how it is transforming our mission to end relational and financial poverty.