Local Hiring: The Key Connection
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago touted Green Exchange in their February newsletter with their story “Connecting the Dots.” The article examined the Cooper Lamps Task Force’s work preserving the Cooper Lamp Factory building, for its transformation into The Green Exchange, and creating jobs there through community planning and organizing. It accurately credits Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Council, David Baum (President of Baum Realty Group, which owns The Green Exchange) and “plenty of others” for giving this old factory new life—but the article is missing a dot. There wasn’t any mention of Worklocal.org—the community jobs initiative that was born from this organizing.
Worklocal.org is a collaboration between LEED Council, LSNA and the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development with the mission to provide local jobs to low-income residents. Our goal is to strengthen the economic vitality of the area surrounding The Green Exchange while providing good jobs to the residents who live in the community. Specifically, we are targeting qualified job seekers who live in Logan Square, Avondale, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, West Town and at Lathrop Homes. We developed this initiative to connect local residents with new jobs at The Green Exchange, and we are expanding it to extend job training and placement services to businesses in the Rockwell Corridor, as well as other parts of LEED Council’s North River and Addison Industrial Corridors.
The Green Exchange is just the beginning for Worklocal.org—connecting the dots with businesses, job seekers and community.
Aaron Gadiel, Buam Development’s Director of Community Development, spoke about The Green Exchange’s commitment to social responsibility in front of a crowd of people who attended Worklocal.org’s Networking Event at Greenhouse Loft on February 9.
Working Locally for Ten Years…
That’s what I have been doing since I became the President and CEO of LEED Council on February 4, 2002. I have lived in Logan Square for over 30 years and have witnessed many changes there. As I drive by on my way to and from work, I have watched the transformation of the old Cooper Lamp factory into the Green Exchange (see before and after images below).
Here in our corridor, driving over the new North Avenue Bridge offers a scenic view of Wrigley’s Global Innovation Center and demonstrates the value of new public and private investments. If I start a fuller list, I’m sure that I will forget something. Instead, let me offer a few reflections based on the past that may be relevant for the future.
The last three years have certainly re-emphasized that what we do at LEED Council is all about the economy. Whatever your political inclinations are, growing businesses create jobs But it is equally important to ask: What kind of jobs and jobs for whom?
The primary reason I took this job was the opportunity to work at the intersection of local economic and employment development. In my first written piece for our 2002 newsletter, I noted:
The North River Industrial Corridor is one of the most economically viable areas in the city of Chicago. But the area’s success brings with it the challenges of maintaining a viable mixed-use community where people can work, live and shop. Managing growth may be a nice problem to have, but it is a problem that requires collaboration and innovation.
Despite all the changes that have occurred, these statements remain true a decade later.
LEED Council’s 20th anniversary heralded Opening Doors for Economic Vitality. Our 25th anniversary pledged our commitment to Advancing Economic Opportunity. As we prepare for LEED Council’s 30th anniversary in June, we are revisiting our brand strategy and key messages.
But our focus remains to help businesses grow; connect people to jobs and train them for jobs; and provide a link between business, the community and government to improve our local economy. Chicagoans need jobs. Our businesses require responsive and supportive government.
Working together locally, we can assure a prosperous economy for all. It’s your LEED; become engaged with our Council.
Worklocal.org is a Community Jobs Initiative LEED Council spearheaded. Our fourth community event, a Networking Event at Green Exchange, is just one week away. It is focused to seniors, recent graduates and job seekers living in Avondale, Lathrop Homes, Logan Square, West Town, Humboldt Park and Hermosa, but residents from other areas are also welcome to attend. Help us spread the word!
Worklocal.org has New Job Opportunities
Worklocal.org posted opportunities to work in a preschool.
1. Teacher: you must have a total of 30 credit hours in any subject, with 9 of those 30 in early childhood.
2. Assistant Teacher: a love of children from infants to 6 years old. Love working with the arts and making a fool of yourself in front of the kids. While no specific experience or education are required, preference will be given to those who have worked with children, perhaps in a daycare, and to those taking classes towards early childhood education.
3. Janitor: commercial cleaning experience is required. Preference will be given to those who have an understanding of safety precautions regarding cleaning up potentially infectious body fluids such as blood, urine and vomit. We will consider people who have worked in a hospital or nursing home as a janitor.
4. Director: the same as teacher plus two year experience in child care center, at least one as Director.
5. Assistant Director: same as Director except that you must have prior experience as an Assistant Director.
If you are qualified for any of the above jobs, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with the job title in the subject line. Thank you.
Liliana Kaminski Bradford
Assistant Director, Job Coach & Employer Relations