Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

Pro bono teams help launch Chicago Career Tech
On Monday, 175 Chicago residents became members of the inaugural class of Chicago Career Tech (CCT), a new program designed to help displaced middle class workers gain the skills and connections they need to get jobs in technology-related fields.

In a ceremony hosted by Mayer Brown, Mayor Daley, CCT Executive Director Marie Lynch (former Civic Consulting Principal), Shelley Stern from Microsoft, Rita Athas from World Business Chicago, members of the inaugural class, and more than a dozen business partners gathered to celebrate this milestone.

In addition to months of pro bono legal support from Mayer Brown, and financial support from CNA, the Joyce Foundation, Microsoft, Northern Trust, and the State of Illinois, a number of Commercial Club member firms will be providing internships to this inaugural class.  These include:
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois
  • DeVry Inc.
  • Exelon Corporation
  • Hospira, Inc.
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • The Northern Trust Company
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Northwestern University
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • TransUnion, LLC
  • The University of Chicago Medical Center
  • USG Corporation
Chicago Career Tech is an example of the power of Chicago's private sector when we focus our resources over time, in collaboration with public-sector leaders, towards a common goal.  That focus will be necessary as CCT recruits its next class, slated to include 350 participants.

For now, congratulations to everyone who helped make Monday's launch possible.

Recovery Partnership: One year in
April marked 12 months in a historic collaboration between the City and the foundation community: the Recovery Partnership.  (Download 12-month report (PDF))

When the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) made $787 billion available to help communities around the nation weather the economic crisis, it became essential that Chicago apply for and use these funds as effectively as possible.

In response, Mayor Daley's office, the Chicago Community Trust, Mayer Brown, and Civic Consulting formed the Recovery Partnership to oversee projects throughout the City.  The Partnership's strategic approach has secured more stimulus funding per capita than nearly any other American city, nearly $2 billion to date.  Specific contributions include:
  • Associates from Mayer Brown led teams around Workforce, Education, Basic Needs, and Housing and Energy and guided analysis of how to "glide down" from the short-term infusion of funds provided by ARRA.
  • An associate from L.E.K. Consulting launched the Housing and Energy team and helped write competitive grants.
  • The Chicago Community Trust provided program leadership and gave logistics support for more than 60 partnership meetings.
  • A fellow from the Kellogg School of Management led a multi-department team to streamline contract processing.
  • And The University of Illinois at Chicago designed an evaluation approach to understand ARRA's long-term impacts.
The Partnership's efforts have also had a profound effect on how business is done in Chicago by helping to reshape how city government works and engaging private foundations like never before.  For example:
  • The City contracting process has been greatly improved, ensuring that nonprofits receive their grant funds sooner
  • Numerous new planning groups, focusing on subjects such as green and healthy homes, broadband, and economic development, have sprung from the Recovery Partnership to keep the issues alive post-ARRA.
One year after conception, the impact of this unique collaboration is becoming increasingly clear as city agencies and foundations continue to work together in an active and engaged way, and as Chicagoans reap the benefit of well-allocated stimulus funds.

The legacy of the Recovery Partnership will be the ongoing improvements in Chicago's quality of life that continue long after the stimulus funds are a distant memory.

Civic Consulting features partners on new website
Visit the new!

To highlight the extraordinary commitments of Chicago's private sector, Civic Consulting's new website features pages for each partner that list recent projects to which you've provided pro bono staff.  With your logo and a link to your website, we hope it brings further recognition to your continuing support and impact.

Planning the new site, we heard that new team members from our clients and partners want to understand better what roles they will play and how to get in touch with us.  Therefore, we have added Working with Us, Case Studies, and a staff directory.
Duo Consulting built the site pro bono and provided a content management system, so we can make updates easily.
The Kineo Group, who designed our brand identity, provided look-and-feel guidelines, also pro bono.
As with any website, the moment you turn it on, you see a thousand things to improve.  We're planning ongoing enhancements.  We'd appreciate your comments and suggestions.  Please tell us what you think.

May 2010: Feature Stories
Pro bono teams launch Chicago Career Tech
Recovery Partnership: One year in
Civic Consulting features partners on new website
Learn more about CCT's inauguration
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