Skills for Chicagoland’s Future: A PeopleScout Partnership to Aid the Unemployed

October 13, 2017

PeopleScout is proud to be honored as the 2017 Corporate Champion for the Unemployed, an award given by Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. The award recognizes PeopleScout’s commitment to increasing economic mobility for the unemployed and underemployed in the Chicago area.

The Honor

TrueBlue President Patrick Beharelle accepted the award and spoke at the Skills for Chicagoland’s Future Employment Champions Breakfast. PeopleScout Implementation Analyst Gwendolyn Tidwell, who was hired through Skills, also spoke at the event.

The award is given to an employer partner that exemplifies the non-profit’s mission by hiring the unemployed, providing pro bono and financial support, and serving as a corporate advocate. This is the third year that Skills has recognized a Corporate Champion for the Unemployed. Previous award winners were JPMorgan Chase and CDW.

The Mission

Skills for Chicagoland’s Future is a public-private partnership dedicated to matching businesses with hiring needs and qualified unemployed and underemployed candidates. Their mission is to “create demand-driven solutions for employers to get the unemployed and underemployed to work.”

Currently, Skills has placed more than 4,300 people into jobs with their more than 60 employer partners. The placements increase the economic mobility of Chicago area resident by increasing their hours, hourly wages and access to benefits like paid time off and health coverage. This decreases reliance on government programs like unemployment insurance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Chicago Tribune reports that people who found jobs through Skills were more likely to be in those same jobs after two years than those who found jobs through other means.

That impact spreads throughout the community. For many, unemployment creates tremendous personal stress around how to make ends meet and how to provide for a family. Stress that builds and that seems to make each interview a higher-pressure situation. When that weight is lifted, it helps the entire family. When people are employed, rates of depression and divorce go down, self-esteem goes up and children do better in school.

The Dedicated Partnership

PeopleScout has partnered with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and Patrick Beharelle, president and COO of TrueBlue, has held a spot on the board of directors since 2013. In that time, PeopleScout and its parent company, TrueBlue, has hired 465 people and contributed financial support to help Skills expand its impact locally and place more people in jobs. Most were employed as entry-level recruiting coordinators in our Chicago headquarters, and many have been promoted into other roles in the company.

One of those people is Gwendolyn Tidwell, who was hired by PeopleScout in April 2013 as a junior recruiter in the call center. She is still with the company, and over the years, she took on more responsibilities. In July 2017, she was promoted to the position of implementation analyst, where she works with project managers to gather data to ensure client success. Before working for PeopleScout, she had been laid off after years of stable employment.

PeopleScout is proud of this long partnership because the mission of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future aligns so well with our goals.

PeopleScout’s parent company, TrueBlue, is committed to connecting people and work. PeopleScout is committed to maintaining a healthy employment climate. As experts and stakeholders in the talent acquisition industry, we are passionate about doing our part to equip people of all backgrounds and abilities with the tools they need to connect with work. We aim to create positive environments that extend beyond the reach of our clients and employees, and we are continually striving to redefine the highest standards of social responsibility.

Because we are committed to the well-being of our employees and workers, and to the communities in which we live and work, PeopleScout plans to continue our partnership with Skills and continue our commitment to being a champion for the unemployed.