McCormick Foundation Announces Workforce Development Grants

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

McCormick Foundation Grants $900,000 for Citywide Workforce Development Programs through Chicago Tribune Charities

Link to PDF of this Press Release

While the nation’s economy slowly improves, many individuals are still struggling to access the training programs needed to find jobs that lead to revived careers. Recognizing the need, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the Chicago Tribune have announced $900,000 in funding through Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund, to thirteen (13) local nonprofit organizations helping individuals overcome the barriers to unemployment and move towards greater self-sufficiency.

“These post-recession times are hard on individuals without the skills to successfully compete for a job,” said David Hiller, President and CEO of the McCormick Foundation. “We are pleased to support these programs that will help people achieve their goals of earning a living wage and supporting their families.”

Since 1990, nearly $110 million has been granted through Chicago Tribune Charities to support community-based vocational and employment programs.

Funds for these programs are raised from the public, with the McCormick Foundation matching all gifts at 50 cents on the dollar, dramatically increasing the impact of individual contributions. The Foundation, and the Chicago Tribune pay all administrative costs, ensuring 100 percent of donations, plus the match, are granted to local nonprofits improving individual lives across Chicagoland.

The 2014 Chicago Tribune Charities workforce development grant recipients include:

  1. The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership will receive $40,000 over one year to provide a blueprint for the targeted use of federal youth workforce dollars.
  2. Chicago Job Council will receive $100,000 over two years for general support and a $30,000 one-year grant for their benchmarking project which provides a mechanism for workforce development organizations to compare outcomes across programs with similar participant characteristics, service strategies, or outcome definitions.
  3. Chinese American Service League (CASL) will receive $60,000 over two years for The Chef & Culinary Arts program, which is an intensive food service training curriculum for Chinese immigrants and other low-income adults with limited work skills, knowledge of the U.S. workforce and English proficiency.
  4. Greater West Town Community Development Project will receive $90,000 over two years for the Vocational Training and Placement program to assist disadvantaged participants in the development of occupational and academic skills necessary to secure employment and pursue careers in wood products manufacturing, shipping and receiving.
  5. Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. will receive $45,000 over two years for the Chicago FarmWorks program which integrates a dual training model in urban agriculture/landscaping and food production for formerly-incarcerated and homeless adults.
  6. Jane Addams Resource Corporation will receive $60,000 over two years for the Careers in Manufacturing program which provides dislocated workers with technical skills training that leads to jobs in the metal fabricating sector.
  7. Jewish Vocational Service will receive $40,000 over two years for the Pharmacy Technician Training program which offers clients a 12-week industry-informed curriculum and competencies and externship at more than 20 partnering employer sites.
  8. Literacy Works will receive $50,000 over two years for the Employ Lit program which trains workforce and literacy program staff to work effectively with low-literate adult job seekers, integrate employee content into classroom instruction, develop techniques to address a variety of learning styles and needs, and include approaches that can be implemented right away by frontlines practitioners.
  9. OAI, Inc. will receive $58,000 over two years for the Minority Worker Training program which is designed to improve basic academic skills, life skills, safety and health awareness, and provide occupational skills training in fields of environmental remediation and construction.
  10. Polish American Association will receive $80,000 over two years for the Certified Nursing Assistant and Physical Rehabilitation Aid Training program which prepares students to take exams for certification in both the CNA and PRA fields.
  11. St. Leonard’s Ministries will receive $37,000 over two years for the Michael Barlow Employment Center which works with a population with barriers due to lack of skill, minimal or no job experience or ex-offender status.
  12. Women Employed will receive $150,000 for general support to expand educational and employment opportunities for low income individuals.
  13. Youth Job Center of Evanston, Inc. will receive $60,000 for the Career Pathways program, which offers individualized skills assessments, employment plans, and job training to out-of-school youth.

About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1.5 billion in assets.

The McCormick Foundation continues McCormick’s legacy by partnering with media outlets, such as the Chicago Tribune, sports teams and philanthropic organizations across the country, to encourage local giving, inspire civic involvement and address human needs. To learn more about the McCormick Foundation visit, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Contact: Abby Pfeiffer, 312-445-5066,


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