Opportunity Chicago was a collaborative of government agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations and employers. This $27.5 million initiative was developed jointly by CHA, the City of Chicago and The Partnership for New Communities (PNC), a group of business, civic and foundation partners that supported the people and places most affected by CHA’s 15-year Plan for Transformation (The Plan).
Driven by The Plan, an unprecedented endeavor to transform public housing, Opportunity Chicago was a comprehensive effort to connect low-skilled public housing residents to employment and redefine how Chicago’s public workforce development system serves all low-skilled, low-income job seekers. Opportunity Chicago’s overarching strategic priorities were to simultaneously:
Opportunity Chicago was collaborative by design, with PNC, CHA and the Chicago Jobs Council at the coordinating center. The partners convened the Strategic Advisers Group (SAG) to develop comprehensive, career-focused workforce development strategies for CHA residents. The SAG’s role was advisory – to provide expertise and knowledge of best practices, to review plans and activities, to provide other resources as appropriate, and to advocate for public policy and systems change.