As part of our mission, Navy Pier aspires to make Chicago an equitable place for all through community engagement, cultural programming, and employment opportunities in an iconic public space that is at once safe, unifying, and diverse. Navy Pier strives to integrate arts with local economic and community development, and it focuses on partnering with local organizations to meet community needs.
In 2019, through funding support from a local foundation and a partnership with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (SCF)—an organization designed to close the workforce skills gap and create economic opportunity for Chicago’s un- and underemployed— Navy Pier established meaningful workforce development workshops with a First Employer Pilot Program. Navy Pier and SCF developed this program to equip employees with the talents and resources necessary for their future success. The workshops’ focus included lessons in career exploration, guidance to alternative employment pathways, financial literacy, and the job readiness curriculum.
An essential component of this program’s goals is to enhance and enrich all of Navy Pier’s young employees’ working experience through professional development opportunities. The successful program better informed the participants about teamwork, financial management, problem-solving, and effective communication.
The workforce development program demonstrates Navy Pier’s commitment to community engagement and creating equitable initiatives that contribute to the future prosperity of Chicago’s young people.
Funding is vital for the continuation of this and all of Navy Pier’s other free public arts programs. Donations and continued public support forward our mission and improve the lives of hundreds of young people, artists, and arts organizations throughout the City of Chicago.