News Article | November 2, 2016
Too many jobs are left unfilled as otherwise qualified job candidates simply don’t have the soft skills necessary to compete in today’s highly collaborative, communication-dependent work environment. This is particularly unfortunate for lower- to middle-skilled students who have invested the time and resources necessary to develop their hard skills yet struggle in pre-qualification calls and interviews. “Initially, employers asked us to develop a soft skills pre-screening solution, but the gap was so great that the conversation quickly changed to on-the-job and post-secondary educator soft skills training,” stated Amanda Opperman, Director of Competency-Based Solutions at Wonderlic, Inc. According to Opperman, “We knew that this need for training was a nationwide dilemma when over 750 employers responded to our National Soft Skills Survey and over 200 agreed to be on our Soft Skills Advisory Committee.” Wonderlic formed a Soft Skills Steering Committee to help design the Soft Skills Training Bootcamp. The Steering Committee worked with hundreds of employers and post-secondary educators to identify, refine, define, and gain consensus that the following soft skills are most valued by employers when making hiring decisions and conducting performance appraisals. These skills are the foundation of the Wonderlic Soft Skills Training Bootcamp: The identification of these skills made it possible for the Steering Committee to search for soft skills curriculum providers who could deliver lessons that teach these skills, and they identified the best in breed – SkillBott. Originally developed by former Secretary of Education and Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Arnie Duncan under a grant from the Siemens Corporation, SkillBott’s vast researched-based soft skills curriculum was the clear choice. “We understood the significance and timeliness of this initiative and have been working with Wonderlic to make its goal of creating an eLearning soft skills bootcamp a reality,” said SkillBott CEO, Mike Lillywhite. "Blending our curriculum expertise with Wonderlic's technology, assessment, and digital badging expertise will undoubtedly result in a pragmatic, yet comprehensive solution for employers and educators alike.” The Wonderlic Soft Skills Training Bootcamp is an online, competency-based, self-paced program that learners can take anytime, anywhere. There is a flex option for teachers who want to use it as courseware, which consists of expansion activities and reporting for the classroom. Each module consists of instruction that meets the soft skills needs of employers, including interactive practice items, scenarios, and situational judgment questions. If you are an employer who is interested in joining Wonderlic’s Soft Skills Advisory Committee, please click here to register for the committee’s Biweekly Friday Forums. If you are an educator interested in registering for a free trial of the Soft Skills Training Bootcamp, please click here. About SkillBott SkillBott’s team of highly skilled professional educators brings more than 125 years of experience from the classroom, administration, IT customer service and support to provide learners and educators with proven, state-of-the-art College and Career Readiness Courseware. SkillBott is a comprehensive, standards-based curriculum, delivered online and accessible anytime/anywhere from SkillBott’s Learning Management System (LMS), that teaches students soft skills or 21st Century skills they will need to obtain employment and build a successful career. About Wonderlic Wonderlic is a privately held company headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL and a founding member of the Association of Test Publishers. The company provides businesses and schools with a comprehensive library of highly regarded assessments and surveys for each phase of the hiring and student selection process. In its 75+ year history, Wonderlic has delivered over 300 million assessments and surveys for more than 60,000 organizations, government agencies, and accrediting bodies.
News Article | December 13, 2016
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) today announced the results of its 2016 philanthropic commitment to the Chicago community. Over the course of the year, PepsiCo invested almost $1.5 Million and dedicated 5,629 employee volunteer hours to non-profit organizations that serve the Chicagoland community spanning across its philanthropic pillars of community nutrition, youth and active families, culture and civic leadership, and sustainability. Notably, PepsiCo Chicago – home to many of PepsiCo’s nutrition brands, including Quaker Oats, Tropicana and Naked – increased its investment in community nutrition by 20 percent from 2015. A significant part of that investment was with The Kitchen Community to establish a new Entrepreneurship Learning Garden for Prosser Career Academy in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of Chicago. The Kitchen Community’s Learning Gardens are outdoor classrooms built primarily in underserved schools. The Entrepreneurship program specifically is focused on helping high school students to actively contribute to their communities through the Learning Garden. Also in the nutrition space, PepsiCo partnered with non-profit organization Common Threads to provide the Cooking Skills & World Cuisine Program to three Chicago Public Schools – Chase, Camras and Jenner Elementary Schools. “PepsiCo understands the immense value that volunteerism and philanthropic support have on our Chicago community and residents,” said Lauren Burns, Senior Director of Communications at PepsiCo North America Nutrition. “As part of PepsiCo’s commitment to deliver Performance with Purpose, we have a responsibility to do good and leave a positive imprint in the communities in which we operate.” PepsiCo Chicago achieved another milestone for the year, increasing its employee volunteerism to 5,629 volunteer hours throughout the course of the year. In June 2016, more than 300 PepsiCo employees volunteered at Madison and Avalon Elementary schools for Chicago Cares’ Serve-a-thon. “PepsiCo has been one of our longest standing corporate partners, with donations and support that help us connect organizations in need with dedicated volunteers in the community,” said Jenné Myers, CEO of Chicago Cares. “PepsiCo’s involvement in Chicago Cares has led to more than 27,000 volunteer hours logged over the last 22 years of our partnership.” Chicago non-profit organizations served by PepsiCo in 2016 include, but are not limited to, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Chicago Cares, Chicago Food Depository, Plant Chicago, Common Threads, Feed the Children, Friends of the Chicago River, Girls in the Game, Goodman Theatre, Rauner YMCA, Step Up, The Kitchen Community, Top Box Foods, The Chosen Few and The Executives’ Club of Chicago. PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
News Article | November 3, 2016
The Surge Institute, founded in 2014 in Chicago in response to a dearth of diverse leadership at the decision-making tables within education, takes another step forward in addressing the issues of race and class in urban education by hiring a Chicago Executive Director and new Vice President of National Programs. Tamara Prather will join the leadership team on November 18, 2016, as the Chicago Executive Director. Tamara brings to bear over 17 years of combined experience in the education and private sectors, at corporate bodies as diverse as GE Capital, Kraft Foods, Chicago Public Schools and A Better Chicago. Her addition means added focus on brand building and strategy in Chicago, and will allow Surge Founder and President Carmita Semaan to address the broader needs for Surge nationally. Rito Martinez succeeds Erica Harris, the organization’s founding Vice President of Programs, in a new national programs role — setting the expanded vision and direction for the content of the Surge Fellowship as well as the design of the Fellowship’s core curriculum. Martinez was an award-winning teacher and founding principal of Social Justice High School before he transitioned into adult learning, leadership development and executive coaching, which has informed his work for the past half decade. He began with the team in early October 2016. “As the founding VP of Programs, Erica Harris’s design of the Surge Fellowship created a powerful legacy upon which Rito is well-poised to build," stated Carmita Semaan. Both Prather and Martinez have personal connections to The Surge Institute’s mission. "I have followed the work of Surge and continue to be inspired by the passion and sense of purpose of the organization and the significant progress being made. I am honored to lead the organization through this exciting next phase of growth and impact in Chicago," said Prather. "For black and brown leaders it is imperative that one examine issues of identity, race and ethnicity as a means of understanding both our strengths and areas of development. This vision of The Surge Fellowship resonates with my core," shares Martinez. Semaan is very pleased with the expanding team, which also includes Program and Development Coordinator Sandra Rush and Executive Assistant Maurae Gilbert McCants. "The impact of our fellows and alums has been tremendous in youth-serving organizations across Chicago, and Surge receives local and national recognition for our work in preparing, supporting, connecting and elevating these emerging leaders of color. We will continue to respond to demand as the need for diverse and connected leaders is great. This growth requires discipline and a commitment to continuous improvement — two of the foundational values of our organization. Our team will continue to Surge forward with these commitments to our community." The Surge Institute broadly addresses issues of race and class in urban education through leadership development, technical assistance and advocacy. The Surge Fellowship develops high-potential talent within education to create the pipeline of influential education leaders of color. This network transforms status quo systems and approaches in education by sharing ownership of the change efforts, engaging communities in defining and working toward success, serving as role models for young people to pursue roles with influence and risk, and accessing financial capital and power brokers to develop new solutions. Learn more about how you can #LeadTheSurge at SurgeInstitute.org.
News Article | February 24, 2017
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2017 file photo, a boy joins others participating in a protest and marching aimed at President Donald Trump's nationwide efforts to crack down on immigration in Chicago. As Trump moves ahead with an immigration crackdown, school principals in Chicago have been given a simple order: Do not let federal immigration agents in without a criminal warrant. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast File) CHICAGO (AP) — As educators around the United States wonder whether a crackdown on immigrants will reach their schoolhouse doors, principals in Chicago have been given a simple order: Do not let federal immigration agents in without a criminal warrant. The stand taken by Chicago Public Schools, the country's third-largest school system, is among the boldest of the districts that have announced measures to protect those who may be living in the country illegally. It remains unknown how much interest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will show in schools under President Donald Trump, and there is little schools can do to thwart agents who show up with warrants, but they are acting at least in part to ease concerns of skittish immigrant communities. In districts like Chicago, where nearly half of the 381,000 students are Hispanic, there is concern that immigration authorities could grab parents outside the schools and their children inside. "My 9-year-old son gets upset because he knows some of his friends in school and his father are undocumented and he is scared, and asks 'Am I going to see them again,'" said Gabriela Barajas, who was brought to this country illegally as a child but is allowed to stay as part of a federal program launched in 2012. "When I told him about (what CPS was doing) he was clapping, he was so happy." Alma Sigala, an immigrant who has a daughter in district, said the relief is not just for the children but for the parents. "Once the parents are inside the schools they'll feel more secure, that in some form they are protected," said Sigala. Trump's decision to target more people for deportation than had been targeted during the Obama administration has ratcheted up worries about families being torn apart all over the country. In the note Tuesday to Chicago's principals, Public Schools Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson urged them to not only keep immigration agents outside and to avoid sharing any student records with the agents, but to also put plans in place for the possibility of parents being detained while their children are in school. "To be very clear, CPS does not provide assistance to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law," Jackson wrote. Principals around the country have been stepping up efforts to make students feel supported, said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In Syracuse, New York, the school board approved a policy this month requiring schools to deny access to ICE officials until they consult with the superintendent. In Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday the school district discussed a resolution. Connecticut's governor on Wednesday advised school districts in that state to refer any ICE agents to the superintendent. And in New York City, principals there have been told that immigration officers many not be granted access without legal authority. The latest Trump administration guidance leaves in place Obama-era policies limiting enforcement actions at "sensitive locations," including schools. While those policies say agents should generally avoid apprehending anyone inside those designated areas, they do not stop agents from obtaining records or serving subpoenas. Jim Bever, an Indiana principal on the board of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said he would try to discourage immigration officials from accessing students and records, but school administrators around the country are "a bit in the dark" and any agents would likely see a wide range of responses. Some experts say it's unlikely administrators will be tested. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., which supports tighter immigration policies, said schools do not seem to have reason for alarm and Chicago Public Schools and others implementing similar policies mostly appear to be "showing off." Among those prioritized for arrest under the new guidelines are immigrants who abuse public benefits, which Krikorian said could include free and reduced school lunches. "It could well affect them, but again that has nothing to do with the school grounds," he said. "It's not like ICE goes in there and says, 'Drop that tater tot, kid.'" Thompson reported from Buffalo, N.Y. Associated Press writers Collin Binkley in Boston and Hugh Dellios in Chicago contributed to this report.
News Article | December 22, 2016
LRS was the Only Waste and Recycling Company to Receive the Unprecedented National Recognition CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - December 22, 2016) - Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS), the Midwest's leading recycling and waste diversion services provider, today announced it has been named one of the nation's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®. The only waste and recycling company to be named to the list, this esteemed honor recognizes LRS within the top 85 largest US businesses with more than 301 employees. "We continue to invest as an organization heavily in our employees and sustainability mission, which makes this particular recognition so poignant. We are truly honored to receive this prestigious accolade from the Best and Brightest program," said LRS Chief Executive Officer Alan T. Handley. "Our focus on workplace excellence is exemplified each day by the hard work and dedication of our more than 600 men and women who preserve a company culture of commitment, innovation and passion for sustaining our company goals." The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment. Organizations are assessed based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more. National nominees were benchmarked against every state in the United States. National recognition is supplementary to LRS being named one of Chicago's 2016 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in May 2016 in the large business category (organizations exceeding 300 employees). "Profitability and stability is essential for businesses in today's economic climate. Companies that recognize that their employees are the key to their success achieve staying power. Our 2016 winners create their human resource standards to ensure employee satisfaction and they set standards for every business to aspire toward," said Jennifer Kluge, President and CEO of NABR. "We are proud to honor this year's national winners." LRS promotes an employee-driven culture that elevates employee well-being and workplace satisfaction. Providing a best-in-class workplace promotes growth and satisfied employees, cementing the company's position as a leader in Chicagoland's highly-competitive waste and recycling market. In early 2016, LRS substantially grew its benefits package, built a health and fitness center in its corporate headquarters, created new internal events for employee collaboration, created a Junior Executive Board for easier accessibility and communication and increased its community outreach with respected charities to raise donations and awareness for meaningful causes. Through active participation in neighborhood parades, charity events, school visits and other community events throughout greater Chicago, LRS strives to be a good corporate citizen by showcasing the passion and involvement of its most valuable asset, its employees. "Our Lakeshore family continues to promote a sustainability mindset that not only drives our company mission forward, but creates positive change within the communities we serve. This esteemed recognition reaffirms the values Lakeshore employees exhibit day-to-day in their professional and personal lives," Handley said. About Lakeshore Recycling Systems Serving Chicagoland for nearly 20 years, Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) specializes in recycling and waste diversion programs, affordable roll-off container services and comprehensive waste removal to Chicagoland businesses and residential homeowners. LRS owns and operates seven Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), a fleet of fuel-efficient natural gas-powered trucks and is run by over 720 committed full-time employees. LRS is a recipient of Chicago Public Schools' coveted Best Partnership Award, is ranked #35 on Waste360's 2016 Top 100 Waste and Recycling Companies in North America and is a 2016 multi-Stevie award winning company with honors including Company of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year and Fastest Growing Company of the Year. Controlling over 2.2 million tons-per-year, LRS does not own a landfill and is committed to raising awareness for a more environmentally sustainable and scalable business model that fuels the circular economy. To learn more, visit www.LRSrecycles.com. About the Best and Brightest Programs The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in operations and employee enrichment that lead to increased productivity and financial performance. This competition scores potential winners based on regional data of company performance and a set standard across the nation. This national program celebrates those companies that are making better business, creating richer lives and building a stronger community as a whole. There are numerous regional celebrations throughout the country.
Reynolds A.J.,University of Minnesota |
Temple J.A.,University of Minnesota |
White B.A.B.,University of Minnesota |
Ou S.-R.,University of Minnesota |
Robertson D.L.,Chicago Public Schools
Child Development | Year: 2011
Using data collected up to age 26 in the Chicago Longitudinal Study, this cost-benefit analysis of the Child-Parent Centers (CPC) is the first for a sustained publicly funded early intervention. The program provides services for low-income families beginning at age 3 in 20 school sites. Kindergarten and school-age services are provided up to age 9 (third grade). Findings from a complete cohort of over 1,400 program and comparison group participants indicated that the CPCs had economic benefits in 2007 dollars that exceeded costs. The preschool program provided a total return to society of $10.83 per dollar invested (18% annual return). The primary sources of benefits were increased earnings and tax revenues and averted criminal justice system costs. The school-age program had a societal return of $3.97 per dollar invested (10% annual return). The extended intervention program (4-6 years) had a societal return of $8.24 (18% annual return). Estimates were robust across a wide range of analyses including Monte Carlo simulations. Males, 1-year preschool participants, and children from higher risk families derived greater benefits. Findings provide strong evidence that sustained programs can contribute to well-being for individuals and society. © 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
News Article | November 17, 2016
Bestowed by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Lakeshore Recycling Systems Receives Honorable Mention for Companies with 500 to 7,499 Employees CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - November 17, 2016) - Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS), the Midwest's leading independent waste and recycling hauler today announced the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has recognized LRS with an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics competition for companies with 500 to 7,499 employees. "The Torch Award is the premier award the BBB can present to a company," says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "Torch Award winners and honorable mentions demonstrate the highest ethical standards and trust with customers, business partners, shareholders and the communities in which they do business." LRS is the only waste and recycling company in Chicago and Northern Illinois to ever win recognition in this category. LRS has held accreditation and an A+ ranking with BBB since early 2015. "We thank the Better Business Bureau for this esteemed honor, which comes at a time of continuing marketplace expansion and a longstanding adherence to maintaining the highest ethical standards and values. We are grateful and accept this award on behalf of our employees, customers and communities we serve," said LRS Chief Executive Officer Alan T. Handley. Now in its 20th year serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, recipients of the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics were evaluated and selected by a team of outside judges from local colleges, universities and businesses. To be considered, LRS submitted ethical examples in current practice, spotlighting the company's values, executive leadership commitment, internal and external communications, management best practices, human resources and community involvement. "This highly respected designation is another feather in our cap as we continue to forge and maintain meaningful relationships and a sustainable brand folks know and trust," said Managing Partner Joshua B. Connell. The BBB will honor all Torch Award recipients at a luncheon in early December. Serving Chicagoland for over 17 years, Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) specializes in recycling and waste diversion programs, affordable roll-off container services and comprehensive waste removal to Chicagoland businesses and residential homeowners. LRS owns and operates six Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), a fleet of fuel-efficient natural gas-powered trucks and is run by over 600 committed full-time employees. LRS is a recipient of Chicago Public Schools' coveted Best Partnership Award, is ranked #35 on Waste360's 2016 Top 100 Waste and Recycling Companies in North America and is a 2016 multi-Stevie award winning company with honors including Grand Stevie, Company of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year and Fastest Growing Company of the Year. Controlling over 2.2 million tons-per-year, LRS does not own a landfill and is committed to raising awareness for a more environmentally sustainable and scalable business model that fuels the circular economy. To learn more, visit www.lrsrecycles.com.
News Article | October 27, 2016
Chicago Public Schools, City of Chicago, Healthy Schools Campaign, MWRD, and Openlands partnership earns honors
News Article | November 28, 2016
CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ingenuity has released its annual State of the Arts in Chicago Public Schools report, which reflects an increase in elementary schools meeting weekly instructional minutes and the number of schools Strong or Excelling in the arts across nearly every...
News Article | April 28, 2016
"Shortly after Chicago Public Schools disclosed the district has not tested water fountains for lead contamination, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the nation's third-largest school system will begin checking water in a small number of schools this year. The announcement Wednesday came more than a month after the Tribune requested the results of any water quality tests conducted by or for CPS since 2012. The school district failed to respond within legal deadlines set by the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, but in an email sent an hour before Emanuel's office released its statement a district spokesman said CPS had no records to provide. The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has put new pressure on cities and school districts to address the safety of drinking water. Like Flint, Chicago and many older cities required the use of lead plumbing during the last century, and few have been required to replace those pipes with safer materials." Michael Hawthorne and Jennifer Smith Richards report for the Chicago Tribune April 27, 2016.