To achieve our goals, we often work with other nonprofits that have expertise and experience in the complicated issues we work on. Over the years, Civic Consulting Alliance has collaborated with hundreds of nonprofits to understand key issues, develop the right solutions and implement those solutions to achieve impact.
Civic Consulting Alliance has also at times helped to create new nonprofits, such as Thrive Chicago, Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership and Chicago Career Tech (today known as Skills for Chicagoland’s Future).
Civic Leadership Academy
For all of the great work they do, local governments and nonprofits are often hard-pressed to find the time and resources to invest in developing their leaders. That's why we collaborated with the University of Chicago and LISC to develop the Civic Leadership Academy (CLA), a new, interdisciplinary certification program founded to train Chicago's emerging leaders to be successful in their fields. The program provides cohorts of rising leaders from nonprofits and government offices with six months of classes led by business practitioners and University of Chicago faculty on topics such as leadership, strategy and management, human capital and civic innovation. We helped to design the program, recruited public-sector participants, provided feedback on fellows' capstone projects and taught a unit.
While helping Thrive Chicago start up as its own nonprofit, we managed several of Thrive's Change Networks, each collaborating with a dozen or more nonprofits. We also oversaw the development of a data sharing infrastructure working with a coalition of nonprofits, service providers, city agencies and funding organizations to help youth in our region succeed in school and life.
Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership
Civic Consulting Alliance coordinated the program management office and developed the budget, hiring plan and role descriptions for the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, which was a merger of three separate workforce boards. In all, the Partnership has allowed residents to more easily receive training and apply for jobs across the reason. Businesses have benefited from consistent practices and access to a larger applicant pool. The merger has also reduced administrative costs, saving millions that can be redeployed into services.
Skills for Chicagoland’s Future
Civic Consulting Alliance worked with a number of partners to develop a three-year business plan to guide the formation of Chicago Career Tech. This new venture has operationalized a new kind of model for workforce training and job placement: one focused on partnering with employers. In 2011, we helped transform Chicago Career Tech into a new, demand-driven organization known as Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. Today, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future is a nationally recognized public-private partnership working to match businesses with qualified job seekers.
As a new initiative following a national model, Thrive Chicago had small origins but big plans: to help improve the lives of Chicago’s youth from “cradle to career.” After over a year of incubation in the Mayor’s Office, we helped build Thrive into its own nonprofit housed in the McCormick Foundation, where it has been able to seek funding a build a larger team to achieve its mission.
My experience at Civic Consulting showed me that there is the opportunity to make a difference. And that no matter where you are operating in Chicago, you can have an impact.
former Managing Director, A Better Chicago