The barriers to economic opportunity and social injustices millions of individuals faced prior to COVID-19 have only been exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic. Since March 2020, millions across the nation have become unemployed and feel helpless with nowhere to turn because they do not have a way to access jobs and companies looking for talent.
The Skills jobs-first model was created to address this opportunity gap and the barriers skilled, job-ready individuals face - of no fault of their own - but because they are unemployed, live in a certain area, or have a non-traditional background. The Skills model has eliminated barriers to employment for thousands of people in Chicago and Rhode Island, resulting in employment and access to economic mobility that was previously unattainable. The Skills model is proven to create pathways for economic mobility and can do so in cities and regions nationwide.
In 10 years, Skills plans to replicate its model in 25 sites nationally. This will result in 500,000 people directly and indirectly being placed into jobs using a demand-driven model and over $11 billion in economic impact.
Skills for Chicagoland's Futurewebsite: http://www.skillsforchicagolandsfuture.org
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In the past year, Skills has seen enormous growth in its National Expansion efforts. Skills signed a letter of intent with a new partner to further experiment and launch a third expansion site in 2022. In November of 2021, the organization launched a Request for Partnership (RFP) to build a site pipeline of new potential partners nationally, garnering responses across the United States.
Additionally, Skills has begun to develop training curriculum and delivery modules for sites and will build and launch a comprehensive digital training platform in 2022 to maximize its ability, speed, and impact of remote training.