Preparing for the Future of Work
Co-chaired by Trustee Penny Pritzker, P33 is a non-profit focused on building a dynamic, inclusive innovation ecosystem to ensure Chicago can rise to the challenge of the digital age and thrive. Alongside initiatives to spur greater innovation and boost the visibility of the city’s tech sector, a dedicated focus on talent solutions aims to equip Chicagoans of all backgrounds with the skills and opportunities to access the tech economy. Early efforts include establishing a Talent Coalition to create an employer-driven pipeline of young tech talent and launching the Tech Ready Illinois platform (with Discovery Partners Institute) to connect unemployed residents to digital skills.
Housed at Discovery Partners Institute, the Illinois Workforce and Education Research Collaborative establishes new state-wide capacity around workforce and education data & research, tracking & evaluation of best practices, and convening of cross-discipline leaders. Ultimately, it aims to ensure that workforce and education policy and practice in the state are driven by rigorous research and evidence. In partnership with the Pritzker Tech Talent Labs at DPI, IWERC will focus dedicated resources on research around tech talent and inclusive workforce solutions.
Chicago Connected is a public-private partnership that expands broadband access to Chicago Public Schools students and families, ensuring that the city’s future talent pipeline has the resources they need for online learning during the COVID-19 crisis. The program also provides additional digital literacy and workforce resources through a network of community-based organization partners and online platform. As of early 2021, Chicago Connected had “connected” over 35,000 CPS households (including over 55,000 students) to the internet.
Skills for Chicagoland’s Future
Skills for Chicagoland’s Future is a public-private partnership working to match businesses that have current, unmet hiring needs with qualified, unemployed and underemployed job seekers. Since its launch in 2012, Skills has placed over 8,000 job seekers into jobs with over 100 employer partners. In 2020, with support from the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, Skills served as one of the inaugural chairs of the CBO Collective, a systems change-focused partnership of 16 workforce-focused organizations providing a central point of access for talent from Chicago’s South and West Sides.
Pritzker Access Scholarship
In 2014, Trustees Penny Pritzker and Bryan Traubert, in partnership with the Pritzker Foundation, created the Pritzker Access Scholarship (PAS) to alleviate the financial barriers that Noble Network of Charter Schools’ undocumented students face when accessing college. Because of this scholarship, over 300 college-ready DREAMers have been offered the opportunity to attend a four-year postsecondary institution, with the college access rate for Pritzker Access Scholars increasing from 28% to 87%. For Scholars starting their college careers in 2020 and 2021, the program is administered by TheDream.US and is expanded to graduates of various high schools in Chicago.