Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Chicago, Cook County create Skills for Chicagoland's Future jobs program
Not-for-profit will tailor job-training efforts to specific needs of individual corporations with positions to fill

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Kathy Bergen

In an effort to chip away at the area's persistently high unemployment rate, Chicago and Cook County officials this week will formally launch a not-for-profit that will tailor job-training programs to the specific needs of individual corporations with positions to fill.

The program, called Skills for Chicagoland's Future, will try to speed placement of some of the area's 240,000 unemployed residents into local job openings, which number more than 200,000, according to the announcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

"This is a real bridge," said Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, noting it is the first regional adaptation of a similarly focused national effort called Skills for America's Future. Pritzker, the politically active investor and member of one of Chicago's wealthiest families, helped shape the national program, which was initiated by the Obama administration and is run by the Aspen Institute. Pritzker is chairwoman of the local organization's board.

The initial effort is modest in scale. The organization will have a $3.2 million operating budget, with two-thirds coming from the city and county and one-third from private donors. In its first year, it will attempt to place 1,700 to 2,000 unemployed workers with as many as 85 companies, said Marie Trzupek Lynch, president and chief executive officer of the organization, which has been gearing up during the late spring and summer.

In addition, it is hoping to steer up to $3.5 million in government workforce training money to some of the companies to offset training costs.

"We're hoping by the third year to place 5,000 to 6,000 people a year," Lynch said, noting the numbers will depend on the availability of workforce training money.

Jobs programs tailored to specific companies raise a number of questions, including whether the training will be too narrow to be useful in subsequent jobs and whether it's fair for public money to benefit one company but not another, said Ross Eisenbrey, vice president at the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

Lynch said many of the skills will be transferable, and that providing training to match a specific company's hiring needs should reduce the time it takes to get an unemployed person back to work.

"So there is economic benefit to the city, a return on investment," she said. "To get someone back to work quickly benefits the whole region."

Lynch formerly ran the city's Chicago Career Tech training program, another not-for-profit, which will be phased out this fall. That program provided middle-income Chicago residents with training mainly in health care and information technology, and it tested the waters for programs tailored to specific employer demand. About 600 people a year went through its training programs.

The new program will be driven strictly by employer hiring plans, and it will be open to unemployed residents throughout Cook County. It is the latest in a series of efforts to retool the area's job training, including the merger of the primary programs run by the city and the county, the latter having been marred by scandals, and revamping the city colleges to focus on training for specific job sectors. SCF will work with those programs, as well as with local universities and other education providers.

Several companies participated as the program was gearing up this spring and summer, including Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., a software company headquartered at the Merchandise Mart.

"Skills for Chicagoland's Future found candidates they felt had the right skills for us," said Joe Carey, the company's chief of staff.

The company whittled the preliminary pool to 16 from about 30, and then that group received four weeks of health care tech training at Malcolm X College, under a state-funded program, and another four weeks of training at the company.

All 16 were hired into customer support roles, among them South Side resident Daphne Jemison, a network administrator who had been unemployed for close to a year after her former employer eliminated about 40 jobs in a cost-cutting move.

"Many family members and friends also were out of work ó it felt like doomsday," she said. "I didn't think this (opportunity) would ever happen. Ö I was pretty ecstatic."

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.