Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago?

The Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago are a consortium of five Workforce Boards that promote workforce and economic development on a regional basis. The metropolitan Chicago region includes the City of Chicago and Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties.

What is the purpose of the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago?

The Workforce Boards play a key role in the economic development of both their local areas and the entire region. The Workforce Boards connect the business sector with organizations providing employment, training, and educational services that support development of the region’s workforce.

These Workforce Boards are committed to building a demand-driven workforce system that provides skilled employees for employers and develops real career opportunities for job seekers and career changers. The system makes it easy for business to access qualified applicants and other workforce development services.

Explain the sector-based focus that shapes their strategies.

As part of the consortium’s regional agenda, the Workforce Boards have adopted a sector-based approach to workforce development. Through industry summits the Workforce Boards bring together business associations, chambers of commerce, and their members with education entities and other stakeholders.

With a goal of identifying the key workforce development action items for the region, these industry summits have resulted in greater awareness of the industry workforce needs and fostered connections between business and education. The forums have resulted in action agendas focused on developing our current workforce as well as youth – the future workforce – for the region’s high demand jobs in each industry.

These, and other local and regional projects, help create broader career awareness for individuals at all levels; develop occupational career awareness for youth, educators and parents; and establish model initiatives to advance the skills of the current workforce and help make education more relevant to the labor market.

By building a progressive system of change strategies and initiatives, the Workforce Boards support an education and workforce system that can be more closely aligned with what businesses need in a quality workforce and ensures continued economic growth of the region and the state.

How do the Workforce Boards define regionalism?

The Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago recognize that the economic vitality of each individual area is impacted by cross-geographic issues and that geographic boundaries are often meaningless to businesses and residents. They also realize the importance of collaboration to produce a greater impact across the region.

How will the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago affect the workforce climate of the region?

This consortium focuses on regional initiatives aimed at supporting business and sustaining the region’s economic vitality. The initiatives engage a broad base of stakeholders, address sector-specific challenges and their root causes, and in partnership with the industry and workforce system identify and implement solution strategies.

Through these initiatives, the Workforce Boards build greater awareness of workforce needs and make connections between business and providers of employment, training, and educational services. Many of the initiatives result in an action agenda for skill development programs focused on the current workforce as well as youth - our future workforce.