CHICAGO — A Chicago non-profit is working to connect people from disinvested communities with open positions in the job market.

From retail to hospitality, financial services and healthcare, there are many jobs to fill and Marie Lynch, the president and CEO of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future says unemployment is so low, employers are having a hard time filling jobs.

“We’ve been around for ten years and we’re able to identify talent in the South and Westside neighborhoods and work with employers to put folks in jobs,” Lynch said.

Over the summer, the nonprofit reached a milestone: 10,000 job placements.

They work with people who are unemployed or underemployed with a focus on equity.

“There’s a great disparity in unemployment, ten years ago black unemployment was 16% compared to the white unemployment, 6%,” Lynch said.

Even with a robust job market, Lynch said the gap still exists – often based on zip code.

“Where you’re born and where you live impacts who your network is and what your future is and your school, so it’s not leveled, it’s not an equal playing field,” Lynch said.

The nonprofit works with 100 community organizations working to get people job ready with their marketing and recruiting teams.

Skills also has a site in Rhode Island and launched a national expansion campaign aiming to replicate its “Job First” workforce development model at 25 new locations across the country, over the next ten years.

The non-profit will host the “Employment Champions Breakfast” on Tuesday, October 4.

For more information, head to their website: https://www.skillsforchicagolandsfuture.com/