As Chicago’s building boom continues, new nonprofit aims to train women and minorities for construction trades

December 9, 2019
Portrait Of Builder And Apprentice Carrying Wood On Site

“Labor unions and some of the biggest names in Chicago’s development community — attached to projects like Vista Tower, Lincoln Yards and The 78 — are teaming up with United Way of Metro Chicago to train thousands of people for careers in the building trades.

The nonprofit, called HIRE360, is launching about a decade into a construction boom in Chicago, where the skilled labor pool has struggled to keep pace with demand for new skyscrapers.

The nonprofit’s emergence also coincides with public calls by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to intensify efforts to bring jobs and investment to the city’s South and West Side neighborhoods.

“The goal is to get more involvement with African Americans, Latinos and women in the trades,” said Jay Rowell, HIRE360’s executive director. “We’ll work with anyone…”

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