Additional Resources

The following are links to sites with useful information related to workforce development and related services. It is broken down into the following categories:

Primary Data Sources 

  • US Census Bureau — This site provides data at the individual, household, business, and industry level. Data is obtained through a number of survey tools conducted at varying intervals (i.e. one-year, five-year, ten-year). The American Community Survey (ACS) FactFinder is a resource that can be used to download demographic, social, and economic information for over 7,000 different geographies nationwide (including Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois). Check out CJC’s Guide to the FactFinder for more.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics — The BLS is “the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.” It aims, “to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making.” (From the BLS site)
  • Illinois Department of Employment Security LMI Source — A source of Labor Market Information for Illinois, includes unemployment statistics, employment projections, occupational wage data, and more.

Secondary Data Sources

  • Social IMPACT Research Center — An arm of Heartland Alliance, the Center conducts research to provide articles, policy briefs, and other reports related to topics of interest to advocates, frontline workers, legislators, and more. Especially check out their data page which links you to various reports for different geographies across the Chicago Metro region, Illinois, and the Midwest.
  • Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning — CMAP is the regional agency for comprehensive planning in Northeastern Illinois. Its site includes a workforce development page, as well as a data section with an overview of various regional indicators and community snapshots for each county, city, and Chicago neighborhood in the region.
  • Working Poor Families Project — WPFP provides yearly sets of state-by-state data, covering the following topics: the conditions of low-income working families, education and skills training available to working adults, and conditions/employee benefits at existing jobs. The project also produces reports and analysis of the data.
  • National Equity Atlas — This is a national data tool that provides indicators of economic and racial inequality. Search for indicators in Illinois, or the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area.
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities — This research and policy institute conducts in-depth analysis on issues related to workforce development and anti-poverty efforts. They cover poverty and inequality, state and federal budges, tax policy, income support, and more. Their work on SNAP or TANF are good places to start.
  • KIDS COUNT — KIDS COUNT is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and provides state and local level data on child and family well-being across the United States.
  • Talk Poverty’s Poverty Data — TalkPoverty, a project of the Center for American Progress, collects poverty, unemployment, and multiple other indicators in this interactive visual dataset.

State-Level Entities 

City-Level Entities

Other Tools

  • Workforce GPS — An on-line community of workforce development stakeholders sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration (ETA), this site contains 4,000 plus resource for workforce development stakeholders from multiple funding streams.  It is a great place to find support and technical assistance for serving a variety of target populations and employers.
  • OneCPD Resource Exchange — This is a one-stop shop for resources, updates, and information related to all of HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development programs. This includes the CDBG program, which can be used for workforce development specific activities.
  • Workforce Data Quality Campaign — This project of the National Skills Coalition advocates for inclusive, aligned, and market-relevant data systems that advance the nation’s workforce and economy.
  • World Business Chicago’s Site Selector — This application, designed for businesses looking to choose locations in the city, includes a range of data useful to workforce development stakeholders.  Community area profiles, maps of economic incentive program districts, and a map of colleges and universities, are examples.
  • Woodstock Institute’s Data Portal — This organization focused primarily on fair lending and financial systems reform hosts income and employment data as well.  The data can be filtered by neighborhood to get a sense of communities economic well-being and major industries of focus.
  • Literacy Works — This non-profit organization promotes adult literacy, parent education, and workforce development in Chicago by training volunteer tutors and professionals at community-based organizations. They also offer innovative workshops for adult learners in the areas of expressive writing and family literacy.
  • Connect Chicago — A key to entry and success in the workforce is access to technology and the ability to utilize it. Connect Chicago is an initiative aimed at promoting use and access of computers and wi-fi networks for Chicago residents and visitors. Use the interactive map of locations that offer free or affordable technology resources and services.