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Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership launches tool to connect job seekers with employers

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CHICAGO (WLS) — The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) is launching a public outreach campaign to increase awareness of the region’s ten American Job Centers (AJCs) to local career seekers and employers. The Partnership is the non-profit organization that oversees a network of more than 90 community-based workforce development organizations, American Job Centers, satellite sites, and sector-driven centers. The Partnership is the designated recipient of federal workforce development dollars received by the City of Chicago and Cook County. The outreach work will utilize social media, texting, digital communications and email blasts to reach existing and new customers.

The five AJCs in the City of Chicago and five in suburban Cook County are essentially the “front door” of The Partnership’s network and are funded through federal workforce development dollars. AJCs help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. All services provided are at no cost.

The Level Up campaign utilizes video gaming images and copy that speaks to a multi-generational, diverse workforce, and the business community, laying out the quest for success that is part of any successful search. The campaign does not use “government” or “social service speak” to attract users to the LevelUpAJC.org landing page but instead employs ‘gaming’ language and images to represent the ‘stops’ and ‘choices’ one has on a career, or hiring, search.

“If there is one thing the pandemic taught us about the labor market, it is that workers will not follow paths that don’t lead to success. They will no longer remain in situations that don’t speak to them and meet their needs,” said George Wright, Partnership CEO. “And, if/when they leave the workforce, they will only return on their own terms. We think this Level Up campaign is creative, acknowledges everyone has their individual journey and, we hope, will tell people about what we think is one of our region’s best kept secrets: the publicly funded workforce system.”

This is the first time that regional career seekers and employers can all go to one virtual destination to learn about American Job Centers, and that all the Centers will utilize a singular public outreach strategy. The network can be reached by visiting LevelUpAJC.org, by dialing 800-720-2515 or by visiting chicookworks.org.

“Much like in gaming, in a career or staff search, you may not win every time,” says Julio Rodriguez, Deputy Director of the Office of Employment and Training of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the state agency through which federal workforce funds flow to Chicago and Cook County. “The point of The Partnership’s outreach is to remind people that our publicly funded system is here to remove barriers to employment and provide career seekers and employers with tools they need to be successful.”

The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership is a non-profit umbrella organization operating the public workforce system for the City of Chicago and Cook County.

The Partnership combines federal and philanthropic resources to provide comprehensive workforce development services to employers and job seekers. As the largest public workforce development system in the nation, The Partnership has helped place more than 70,000 individuals in employment; collaborated with more than 2,000 employers; and administered more than $400 million in federal and philanthropic funds. The Partnership’s network consists of 90+ community-based organizations, American Job Centers, satellite sites and sector-driven centers, serving more than 140,000 people annually. Learn more at www.chicookworks.org.

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