Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills) is a nonprofit organization that partners with businesses to match their current, unmet hiring needs with qualified, unemployed and underemployed job seekers in the Chicagoland area. As a national thought leader in creating innovative, demand-driven workforce solutions, Skills has been tapped as a resource demonstrating the need for business intermediaries both locally and nationally. Skills wanted to quantify their long-term social and economic impact, so they hired New Growth to evaluate the employment and earnings outcomes of Skills jobseekers relative to comparable individuals.
New Growth integrated several internal datasets from Skills and external datasets from Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) to assemble employment and earnings records for Skills jobseekers and a thoughtfully constructed comparison group of demographically similar individuals with comparable employment and earnings histories. For example, each Skills jobseeker averaged 14 individuals for comparison. The analysis assessed employment and earnings in the timeframes before and after Skills candidates and comparisons returned to work after unemployment. The analysis was augmented with a robust survey of Skills jobseekers to add reliability to the findings.