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 imperative that Chicago meets these new workforce needs in a way that improves the long-term racial equity outcomes for our region’s workers by connecting them to career pathways and industry-aligned training that match current and future labor market needs.

Given that, CWFA and its partners across sectors are working collaboratively to create an Equitable Recovery Corps (employment and training initiatives) along with support efforts that:

  1. Meet immediate public health, economic, and workforce needs rapidly and effectively;
  2. Contribute to the closing of the region’s racial employment and earnings gaps; and
  3. Drive long-term economic mobility and sustained public health improvement.
CWFA is raising a $5 million Recovery Corps Fund to support initiatives as they emerge by co-investing and coordinating with public, private, and other philanthropic strategies to meet these objectives.
Any funder with any level of interest in the Equitable Recovery Corps can participate in the following ways:
  1. Make a Grant to the Equitable Recovery Corps Fund
  2. Join the Funder Alliance itself
  3. Commit to a Future Investment with a Specific Employment Initiative
  4. Sign-Up for the Recovery Corps Funder Interest Group
For more information, please contact Matt Bruce, CWFA Executive Director at
Here is the complete concept paper on the Chicagoland Equitable Recovery Corps.