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Chamber@Work Newsletter

Thursday, October 15, 2015

From the President’s Desk | Accessing an Untapped Talent Pool: The Power of People with Disabilities

According to ADA 25 Chicago, nearly 1.5 million (11.1 percent) of people living in Illinois have a disability. In Chicago, that number is nearly 300,000 (10.9 percent). According to the 2012 Illinois Disability Status Report, 35% of people with disabilities in the state are currently employed, compared to 75% of people without disabilities.

RespectAbility, a national non-profit that works to empower people with disabilities in our society, reports that the majority of Americans with disabilities of working age want to work. Moreover, people with disabilities have equal or higher performance rates compared to those without disabilities, they motivate other employees and they help establish a positive company image.

The business community needs qualified workers to fill its changing job requirements. As our recent Chamber surveys demonstrate, many local businesses today are unable to find qualified job applicants through traditional recruitment channels. Recruiting, marketing, and hiring from this largely untapped talent pool of job applicants with disabilities can address that challenge.

This is where the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN) comes in. A program of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the CBLN works to connect a pipeline of qualified talent for in-demand occupations to a marketplace where employees, customers, and disability-owned businesses play a vital role in business success.

On Tuesday, November 17 the CBLN has partnered with ADA 25 Chicago to host its first annual “Opportunity Summit” conference focused on strategies, best practices, and business issues related to the employment of people with disabilities.

Featuring disability and inclusion experts, this conference is perfect for employers and professionals in human resources, talent acquisition, and diversity and inclusion fields, giving them the opportunity to learn best practices, network with other professionals, and access resources that will help them harness the power of people with disabilities in their workplace.

For more information or to register for the conference, click here.


Theresa E. Mintle
President & CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Nov. 3: RSVP for the 24th Annual Burnham Award Dinner

Our 24th Annual Daniel H. Burnham Award Dinner, where we will honor Frederick H. Waddell, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Northern Trust, is less than three weeks away.

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Chamber Opposes Expanded County Amusement Tax

The Chamber stands opposed to Cook County Board President Preckwinkle’s new tax increase proposal that will be yet another financial burden on residents and businesses.

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Chamber Statement on City Budget Testimony

Theresa E. Mintle, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, testified at the City of Chicago’s public hearing on Mayor Emanuel’s proposed 2016 City budget.

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city hall

Op-Ed: Triage to Find Top Talent

In an Op-Ed published by Crain’s Chicago Business , Chamber Executive Director of Programs Katie Fitzpatrick creates a road map small business owners can use to effectively attract and retain top talent in Chicago.

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Member News: Michigan Avenue Magazine Honors Manny Sanchez

Michigan Avenue Magazine gathered six prominent Chicagoans to discuss “the state of manhood” in Chicago in 2015 amid challenges stemming from issues like shifting gender roles and racial tensions.

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manny sanchez

Member News: Grant Thornton Cuts Ribbon on New Location

On October 7, Chicago Deputy Mayor Steve Koch joined Chamber Board member Grant Thornton’s leadership team for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the newly-renamed Grant Thornton Tower at 171 N. Clark Street.

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Member News: AT&T Supports Urban Alliance Foundation

AT&T is providing a $500,000 contribution to the Urban Alliance Foundation Inc. to support expansion of Urban Alliance’s services to an additional 127 students, including 74 new job sites for high school internships.

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Nov. 3 | Daniel H. Burnham Award Dinner Nov. 5 | Marketing Meetup: Top Marketing Trends for 2016 Nov. 17 | ADA 25 Chicago Opportunity Summit
9.Burnham dinner MarketingMeetup_Nov opp summit photo
Join us as we honor Frederick H. Waddell, Chairman & CEO of The Northern Trust Company. Learn about key trends that are changing how you interact with your customers. Learn about strategies and best practices for the employment of people with disabilities.


Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Wrigley Building , 410 North Michigan Ave, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60611
Telephone: (312) 494 6700
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