Business-led Solutions to Revitalize Chicago Communities

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 -
11:30am to 5:30pm
Metropolitan Club of Chicago
233 S. Wacker Drive, Willis Tower, 67th floor
Chicago, IL 60606
United States

Please join thought leaders from business, nonprofit, public, and academic sectors to work together on actionable solutions to create a brighter future for Chicago. 

The current unemployment rate for youth ages 16-24 living in South Chicago is staggering compared to their male and female counterparts living in Illinois and across the U.S. For example, the unemployment rate for young men across South Chicago is 37.1%, whereas the average unemployment rate for young men in Illinois is 20.1% and 18.2% in the United States. Women in the same age group fare similarly; in South Chicago as 37.1% are unemployed, compared to 17.4% of young women in Illinois and 15.6% nationally. 
 
These significant differences in unemployment rates are a major consequence of communities that need to be revitalized to offer opportunity for their citizens and their businesses. Letting that massive pool of talent—nearly 1 in 6 unemployed youth in the entire state of Illinois are in South Chicago—stagnate has major economic impacts, not only to the needs of individual businesses, but the community at large.  And, many have seen the effects of poor quality education and limited access to jobs manifest into dilapidated neighborhoods and rising violent crime rates.
 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, PwC, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce will host a forum to explore how businesses can revitalize Chicago communities through unconventional operational and hiring frameworks, investments, and cross-sector collaborations. This forum is the third in a nation-wide series and will provide an interactive platform for companies to discuss challenges and opportunities, as well as best practices to align business imperatives and objectives to solve important social issues.
 
Many public and nonprofit organizations are working throughout Chicago to provide assistance to low-income or at-risk populations; however, the challenges associated with neighborhoods plagued with violence are too complex for those sectors to fully address on their own. They need the support of the business community. 
 
When a company supports its employees and communities by strategically directing its energy, investments, and expertise it not only shows its commitment to engaging youth and citizenship, it improves its sustainability, resilience, and profitability. Notably, these strategies create an immediate ripple effect for the surrounding local businesses and their networks of employees and families. Working together, companies can leverage a voice powerful enough to drive systemic social and policy changes.  
 
One thing is certain—the business community has an opportunity to foster the conditions necessary for economic prosperity. How each company chooses to exercise their leadership and collaborate with partners will determine Chicago’s future.