About Cyndi Solitro

Cyndi Solitro is Director for Reimagine Retail Chicagoland.

Early Childhood Workforce Partnership

A thriving early childhood workforce is needed for children and families to receive services, for educators to access rewarding careers, for organizations to achieve impact, and for Chicago industries to have strong childcare options for their workers. Chicago’s early childhood sector is focused on growing access to those services and to continuously improving their quality. In [...]

Chicagoland Equitable Recovery Corps

The COVID-19 crisis has catalyzed an urgent need for large-scale public health and economic re-opening and recovery initiatives, which will create thousands of new employment opportunities. At the same time, it has created unprecedented and rapid unemployment and loss of income in ways that amplify the inequities already defining our region's labor market. It is [...]

My Summer with Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance

As the spring semester at the University of Michigan was winding down, I found myself still in search of a Marketing internship for the summer. With the guidance of my acquaintance Kimberley Rudd, I found myself eagerly applying for an internship within philanthropy—an industry I never explored before. Soon after, I was scheduling the extent [...]

Apprenticeship 2020

Apprenticeship 2020 is a new $3.2M fund to accelerate efforts to scale high-quality work-based learning programs in Chicago. Local and national foundations including JPMorgan Chase, Salesforce.org, The Joyce Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and others, have launched this collaborative effort, in partnership with employers and other stakeholders to test new [...]

COLLABORATION – BETTER TOGETHER

What does collaboration mean to you? Merriam-Webster’s definition of collaboration is “to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor”. In this instance, the endeavor is Reimagine Retail – a workforce initiative focusing on turnover reduction and currently consisting of 10 Chicago organizations helping to improve the quality of jobs for entry-level retail [...]

The Genesis Movement

The Genesis Movement developed from a collaboration between the Funder Alliance and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) that began in 2013 and continues today. The Funder Alliance first awarded IMEC a planning grant to help develop an Industry Workforce Partnership for manufacturing. But what developed in 2014 was a different kind of initiative. IMEC [...]

Calumet Manufacturing Industry Sector Partnership

When the Funder Alliance started in 2012 it inherited an industry workforce partnership focused on manufacturing in Chicago’s Calumet region called the Calumet Green Manufacturing Partnership or CGMP. Initially it was a collaboration of community colleges, CBOs and local governments focused on improving career pathways for local residents into good jobs in manufacturing. The Funder [...]

Pro Path Fund

In 2015, the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance came together with a number of education funders to advance a shared interest in promoting the development of a Chicagoland education and workforce system with a seamless transition from secondary to post-secondary programs. The Pro Path fund was created to provide a seamless transition by expanding the universe [...]

Obama Building Equity Fund

https://youtu.be/-HYtXSFsgY8   In the spring of 2017, the Obama family made a $1 million gift to the Funder Alliance with instructions to use the funding to support a “generational shift” in Chicago’s building trades workforce. The Obama family knew that underrepresentation of communities of color and women in building trades careers is a persistent problem, [...]

Financial Services Pipeline

The Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) initiative is a partnership that financial services firms created in 2014 to increase the representation of African Americans and Latinos in their sector. The Chicago Community Trust and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago were also integral to its formation. The FSP brings together about 18 financial services companies, [...]

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