Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

February 2011 Update

Civic Consulting Alliance is proud to share some of the accomplishments our partners and staff have achieved over the last month. Our unique partnership continues to make Chicago more livable, affordable, and globally competitive.

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President Toni Preckwinkle Publishes Cook County Transition Plan





Axiom Consulting  Partners 


Abbott Laboratories 






The Boston Consulting Group 






SNR Denton 




Perkins Coie 


Grant Stevens, LLC 

In December, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle published a transition plan with specific initiatives for her first 100 days and first term in office.

Accenture played a critical role in developing the plan, along with SNR Denton and PeopleScout. Specific initiatives underway with the support of Civic Consulting Alliance partners include:

  • Performance management
  • Criminal justice reform
  • Partnerships with foundations
  • Desk audit
  • Strategic sourcing
Toni Preckwinkle on WTTW's Chicago Tonight 

In February, Cook County passed a budget closing a $487 million gap, thanks to Civic Consulting analysis and collaboration with unions and elected officials.

On WTTW's Chicago Tonight, President Preckwinkle acknowledged the support of Civic Consulting Alliance and our partners and said, "We're going to have to look carefully at how services get delivered and how we purchase things if we're going to make a dent in the long term in the budget." 

After School Matters Announces New Strategic Plan

The Boston Consulting Group 




Axiom Consulting Partners 


After School Matters (ASM), Chicago's largest after-school program for teens, recently announced a new strategic plan to enhance teens' academic outcomes and strengthen the organization's programmatic focus. The strategic plan is the result of more than a year of collaboration between ASM and teams from The Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Axiom Consulting Partners, and Civic Consulting Alliance.


After School Matters logo 

The plan outlines five key directions to guide ASM in the coming years: articulating a clear core purpose, prioritizing retention of participating students, targeting resources to serve Chicago Public Schools high school students, evaluating program locations based on objective criteria, and phasing out underperforming drop-in club programs.


In addition to helping ASM develop their strategic plan, Civic Consulting and our partners have helped ASM build site evaluation tools, refine their Request For Proposal (RFP) process, and examine how to encourage students to take multiple ASM programs while in high school--a factor that research has shown can double a student's likelihood of graduating.

U.S. Secretary of Education Recognizes Career and Technical Education  

A.T. Kearney 


Bain & Company  

Booz & Company 






Leo Burnett 


Mayer Brown 


McKinsey & Company 


Pepper Construction 


Rush University Medical Center  


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 


Zorch International 

In 2006, Arne Duncan, then the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), asked Civic Consulting Alliance to assess CPS's approach to Career and Technical Education (CTE). More than 25,000 students participated in CTE programs each year, but their outcomes were no better than students completing a general course of study, despite evidence that well-executed CTE programs can increase long-term wages and education outcomes for students.


Arne Duncah, U.S. Secretary of Education 


In partnership with Booz & Company, we developed a new approach to CTE. In collaboration with new leadership at CPS, detailed implementation plans were developed, and in January of last year Mayor Daley unveiled a comprehensive re-structuring of Chicago's Career and Technical Education programs. According to the plan, 250 non-standardized career programs are being reorganized into 80 "College and Career Academies" at 35 high schools over the next seven years. In parallel, we and our partners have helped to launch several dedicated, stand-alone academies through the Renaissance 2010 process.

Earlier this month, Duncan, now the U.S. Secretary of Education, gave a speech at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in which he
recognized not only the work in Chicago, but also the importance of CTE. "First, for far too long, CTE has been the neglected stepchild of education reform," said Duncan. "That neglect has to stop. And second, the need to re-imagine and remake career and technical education is urgent. CTE has an enormous, if often overlooked impact on students, school systems, and our ability to prosper as a nation."