Advanced Manufacturing Initiative

ORGANIZATION NAME: YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois, USA

SUMMARY: YWCA Metropolitan Chicago seeks to advance the marketplace in a way that benefits all Chicagoans, recognizing that innovative public-private-social change partnerships can drive economic growth in neighborhoods and the entire marketplace. The YWCA will identify advanced manufacturing opportunities that can be established within local communities to leverage existing community assets.

PROBLEM SPACE: “While individual communities are suffering, Chicago as a whole is experiencing unprecedented growth, particularly driven by economic development occurring within the central business district and growing industries like technology and advanced manufacturing.

The YWCA has identified a number of target neighborhoods that are experiencing significant levels of poverty who can particularly benefit from increased access to employment opportunities. For example, 60% of households in Englewood are below poverty line with median income of $24,049. North Lawndale is also at 60% with a median household income of $25,310. Woodlawn is experiencing over 38% of residents living below poverty line with median household income of $28,131 and Logan Square is at 25.9% and $48,877. The City of Chicago, State of Illinois, community organizations and private corporations have launched efforts designed to address the issues of violence, unemployment, health and wellness and economic development in these communities. Unfortunately, these disparate efforts are not achieving the highest possible impact.”

SOLUTION: “The YWCA will increase employment opportunities within targeted communities through our advanced manufacturing initiative. Our approach includes:

1) Building an Inclusive Ecosystem: As the central business district supports new growth drivers for metropolitan Chicago, we want to ensure that the expanding ecosystem is inclusive of the surrounding neighborhoods. YWCA will work with World Business Chicago, UI Labs and other partners and city initiatives to research and develop advanced manufacturing opportunities that specifically include our targeted neighborhoods.

2) Launching Targeted Workforce Development: Support the advanced manufacturing initiative with local workforce development programs by recruiting and training women and people of color. The YWCA is uniquely positioned with significant experience in targeted workforce development within diverse populations and communities.

3) Fostering Collaboration & Engaging Thought Leaders: Convene and engage with a diverse group of thought leaders, community organizations and corporate partners to inform the shaping of growing industries and our new economy as well as create efficient processes for employers and job seekers.”

CONTACT: [email protected]