Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city.  

FY 2014
YTD totals




KPMG extern reflects on regional innovation, personal development through Civic Consulting experience

Jeff Ceretto

Jeff Ceretto, a manager in the Chicago KPMG LLP Advisory practice, recently talked about his six-month Civic Consulting externship at the annual KPMG Chicago Town Hall meeting. 


His externship, the first with Civic Consulting from KPMG, built on a long history of partnership between the two organizations.  While at Civic Consulting, Jeff used his strong IT and management skills on several projects, including the City of Chicago's first-of-its-kind Tech Plana procurement improvement initiative for Cook County, and an implementation roadmap for the Illinois State Learning Exchange.



"It was a great opportunity to use skills and knowledge I had gained at KPMG to give back to the community I grew up in," said Ceretto, who grew up on the south side of Chicago and has lived here his whole life. "Overall, it was a great experience and I'm thankful to everyone at Civic Consulting and KPMG for the opportunity to do this work."


Jeff spoke to over 1,200 colleagues at KPMG's annual town hall meeting.  He reflected on the different perspectives on technology and its role in organizations that he gained from talking with CIO's and technology leaders for the Tech Plan, as well as on the different methods of interacting with clients and approaches to consulting that he learned from colleagues at Civic Consulting.

For more information, please contact Rose Fealy.

Blazing new pathways: 100 STEM high school students enroll in college classes 

Pro bono partners:

Earlier this month the first 100 Chicago Public School (CPS) students from Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy enrolled at Richard J. Daley College to take college-level Math and English courses that will count towards both their high school diplomas and associate degrees.  The goal of the program is for students to graduate with both degrees in four to six years.  The students are in the second year of the Early College STEM Schools (ECSS) program, a collaboration between CPS and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) aimed at providing graduates with the skills they need in the modern workforce with a focus on information technology (IT). 


Goode is one of five CPS schools in the program, which was announced in February 2012.  The other schools are Lake View, Corliss, Michele Clark, and Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Each school has a lead corporate partner - Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions and Verizon Wireless - who is working with the schools to provide mentors, site visits, guest speakers, and project-based learning experiences for the students, as well as working with CCC and CPS to provide industry feedback for the technology curricula being taught in the classroom.


"The ECSS grades 9-14 model in Chicago is a testament to the innovation that comes when we combine efforts to bring the best elements of high school, college and industry together to create meaningful opportunities for students," said Stephanie Anderson, corporate citizenship manager at IBM. "IBM is proud to be a partner in this groundbreaking program that is opening pathways to college and career for its students." 



"Our five Early College STEM High Schools are an innovative model, a model that the President has pledged to help scale throughout the country," said Beth Swanson, Deputy for Education to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "These Early College STEM schools are putting our kids on the fast track to and through college."


These 100 students are the first in the program to fulfill the eligibility requirements to dual-enroll at CCC, including junior standing based on credits completed and scores on the Compass placement test.  In addition, the entire class of 650 10th graders is currently taking Introduction to IT Problem Solving, a college course that has been adapted for high school and is articulated for CCC credit.


For more information, please contact Jason Li.


In other Civic Consulting news...  


Head of CCHHS named to lead the largest public health system


Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Civic Consulting's client Dr. Ram Raju the next CEO of the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation. Over the last eighteen months, Civic Consulting and private sector firms have supported leadership, financial and service transformation at Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS). Amidst Dr. Raju's transition, the Board and leadership team at CCHHS reaffirmed that the work on which Civic Consulting and its partners have started is critical to the residents of Cook County and will continue.

For more information, please contact Shruti Jayaraman.


Less time buying, more time leading


As part of a greater effort to improve principal quality at Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Civic Consulting Alliance and partner Ernst & Young worked with the CPS Procurement Office to streamline the procurement process, saving principals' valuable time and allowing them to run their schools more effectively.


Previously ranked by principals as one of their top ten most time consuming challenges, procurement now follows simplified rules and the purchasing process has been greatly streamlined, allowing principals to spend less time buying, more time leading.

For more information, please contact Rose Fealy.

The changing states of our State


On January 22, Civic Consulting CEO Brian Fabes addressed the University of Illinois' Board of Trustees about the future challenges facing Illinois and their implication for research universities. Brian discussed five trends that are and will continue to shape our future: urbanization, technological innovation, globalization, demographic shifts, and the nature of job growth in Illinois. In his remarks, Brian called for research universities to be sources of innovation; to find new ways of understanding densely connected, complex urban challenges; and to develop new structures and approaches for engaging with communities to solve these complex problems.

For more information, please contact Brian Fabes.