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Business Relations and Economic Development

Engaging the business community, Meeting workforce needs

Connect with The Partnership

Phaedra M. Leslie, Director
Email: pleslie@chicookworks.org
Phone: 1 (312) 603-7066

Business Resources

The Partnership aims to increase private engagement in the local workforce system while improving the scale, capacity, quality, and results of workforce development programs. The goal is to better serve the needs employers by ensuring we have a skilled labor force that meets the market’s demands. By leveraging The Partnership’s experience and knowledge of occupational training, workplace preparedness and business relations, businesses are able to use existing resources to produce outstanding results.

The Partnership:

  • Engages the business community to identify industry-hiring trends and industry-recognized credentials
  • Supports industry-specific “sector centers” designed to facilitate in-depth focus on particular industries with business partnerships in these areas.
  • Analyzes and disseminates labor market information to project job growth, wages, and training requirements

Economic Development

The Partnership works with the City of Chicago’s and Cook County’s economic development agencies to meet regional business needs through a variety of incentive and other programs including TIF Works and the BUILT in Cook Loan Fund. Additionally, applicants for Cook County’s tax incentive initiatives are routinely referred to The Partnership to address human capital needs.

WARN/Rapid Response Workshops

In anticipation of company layoffs, The Partnership coordinates with businesses to facilitate workshops for affected workers informing them of their rights, responsibilities, and available resources. The Partnership then coordinates job placement and training services for affected employees. Contact us to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees.

Industry Sector Centors

The Partnership’s sector centers are funded to facilitate employer engagement to support business growth and economic development in four priority sectors of our region: Hospitality and Tourism; Information Technology; Healthcare; and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics.  These sector centers promote the workforce system’s business services by delivering recruitment and retention services.  These services include but are not limited to

  • Coordinating recruitment events for mass (or smaller) hiring needs
  • Promoting work-based learning such as apprenticeship programs that upskill entry level employees and increase retention
  • Pre-screening services that give time back to HR staff and recruiters for other priorities
  • Implementing train-to-hire initiatives to create a pipeline of pre-trained new hires
  • Facilitating employer-designed training projects that provide a customized solution for new hires and current employees
  • Connecting employers to tax incentives and training reimbursement grants for cost savings they can reinvest into their business

Please reach out to our talented network Business Relations Specialists for your hiring needs:

Construction, Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics:
Patricia A. Moore, pmoore@chicookworks.org

Healthcare: Kathleen Brannigan, kbrannigan@chicookworks.org

Hospitality: Marion Batey, mbatey@chicookworks.org

Manufacturing: David Swanson, dswanson@chicookworks.org

Retail: Tonya Cody-Robinson, trobinson@chicookworks.org

Technology, Business and Professional Services: Victor Vizueta, vvizueta@chicookworks.org

Employer Resources

Download our business brochure HERE

If you are a business owner or HR representative for an employer considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, we encourage you to connect with The Partnership’s Business Relations and Economic Development team to get assistance, email pleslie@chicookworks.org

Important links:
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions