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.
- Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity — This link to DCEO’s workforce development page provides information about the agency and specifically its role in overseeing the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Additionally, consider visiting Grant Tracker for a complete listing of all grants administered by DCEO.
- Illinois Department of Economic Security — IDES administers Illinois’ unemployment insurance program, helps individuals in searching for jobs, and provides economic information. The department is also the prime distributor of Illinois-specific labor market information.
- The Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago — Nine workforce boards located in Chicago and seven surrounding counties comprise this consortium. The website provides access to relevant publications, labor market information, contact information, and other resources.
- Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership — An independent non-profit organization, led by a board of business and civic leaders. The Partnership also provides staffing to the Chicago-Cook Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the federally-mandated entity that oversees the whole county’s annual WIA allocation. Prior to July 2012 there were three separate entities within Cook County, staffing three separate boards and managing their own WIA funds. Now, there is only the Partnership and the Chicago-Cook WIB. The Partnership website also includes a labor market information page with links to relevant data.
- Chicago Department of Family & Support Services — DFSS is the administrator of Chicago’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funding that is used for workforce development. DFSS’ workforce development page provides more information about the Chicago’s workforce centers and services.
- City of Chicago Data Portal – This is the city’s official portal for data about the city. Click here for some useful data sets to start exploring.
- Affordable Rental Housing Developments
- City Workforce Centers
- Community Service Centers
- Condom Distribution Sites (from the city’s free condom program)
- Connect Chicago Locations (Map) — Connect Chicago is a network of locations in the city that provide free computer and internet access, online learning resources, and training in digital skills.
- Libraries – Locations, Hours and Contact Information (Map)
- Map of Grocery Stores (2013)
- Mental Health Clinics
- Women, Infant, Children Health Clinics — WIC is a federally funded program providing nutritious foods and counseling to eligible pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum women, children and infants.
- Workforce Centers
- Youth Centers
- Chicago Public Schools, Elementary School Progress Report (2013-2014)
- Chicago Public Schools, High School Progress Report (2013-2014)
- Census Data — Selected socioeconomic indicators in Chicago, 2008 – 2012
- Public Health Statistics — Life Expectancy by Race and Gender
- Public Health Statistics — Selected public health indicators by Chicago community area
- 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.