The South Loop job training and business development center will offer apprenticeships, recruiting, mentoring, and more
CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker today joined representatives from the Chicago Federation of Labor, Hire360, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), and other state and local leaders to announce a $3 million investment in HIRE360's new training and development center in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood.
The HIRE360 Training & Business Development Center, a 40,000-square-foot space supported by $2 million in state funding and $1 million of federal funds, will include conference and meeting spaces, networking and education, working space for 37 trades, a playroom and parents center for working professionals, two commercial training kitchens, retail space for diverse suppliers, event space and more. Paired with philanthropic donations, this funding puts the center on track to open for the community later this year.
The Center focuses on training and developing employees in the construction, manufacturing, and hospitality sectors, a critical step in accelerating recovery for industries deeply damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide employment and advancement opportunities, recruiting, training, placement support, mentoring, technical assistance, assistance in securing capital, youth programs, and socially responsible supply chain training, among other programs.
"My administration is dedicated to rebuilding our economy by investing in people, and that's exactly what we're doing with the HIRE360 Training & Business Development Center," said Governor Pritzker. "I've prioritized apprenticeship training programs to prepare our residents for good paying jobs, to meet the actual needs of our employers, and to do so with a specific eye for those underrepresented in key industries, like women and people of color. With the $2 million announced today and over half a million dollars from our Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program, our investments in HIRE360 represent a key next step in that endeavor."
HIRE360 was launched in 2019 by industry leaders to provide a creative solution to workforce development that allows employers and unions to develop and connect directly with emerging members of the workforce. It previously received $550,000 in funding through Governor Pritzker's administration from the "Illinois Works" Pre-Apprenticeship Program.
"I am proud to deliver $1 million in federal Community Project Funding to help make this dream a reality for HIRE360 and working families in the area," Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said. "The HIRE360 Business Development Center will help Illinoisans train for and obtain good-paying, in-demand jobs in the Greater Chicago Area, bolstering our workforce and our local economy. I applaud Governor Pritzker's success in securing robust funding for this program at the state level, and I am proud of the strong federal-state partnership we have built to create a brighter and more prosperous future for Illinois."
Governor Pritzker's administration has invested in training programs at Rockford Airport and supported manufacturing and aviation industry job creation, as well as a $15 million investment in manufacturing academies in the clean energy and vehicle sectors. The 'Illinois Works' program invested $10 million in apprenticeship programs across the state, also with a focus on equity and representation among marginalized groups.
"HIRE360 is proud to partner with Governor Pritzker and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi who are committed to leveraging federal and state funding to assist Women- and Minority-owned entrepreneurs in the trades," said Jay Rowell, Executive Director of HIRE360. "This funding will make the HIRE360 Training and Business Development Center possible, providing a space where industry leaders, contractors, sub-contractors, developers, organized labor and apprentices can come together and ensure that our city's future is inspired by the communities that call Chicago home."
"HIRE360 is a 360-degree vision for community-connected employment and business opportunities," said Don Biernacki, Board Chair of HIRE360 and Executive Vice President of Construction at Related Midwest. "For Related Midwest, HIRE360 serves as an extension of our work investing in local residents and small businesses to create the most comprehensive diversity and inclusion program in the history of Chicago's construction industry. We're grateful for Governor Pritzker's and Congressman Krishnamoorthi's support and thrilled to collaborate with members of the development, labor and contractor ecosystem in this effort to build an economic engine that maximizes Chicago's potential."
For more information on apprenticeship programs and HIRE360's mission, please visit www.HIRE360Chicago.com.