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Workforce Development Initiative

Education is crucial to the quality of life in a community and also inextricably linked to its economic vibrancy. Schools are a key factor when a family chooses to move to a community, and ultimately, to support its businesses.

Addressing vitally important issues such as this is at the forefront of the Chamber’s mission, as we exist to find solutions to community issues and pressing business needs.

One such business need is access to an available workforce.

This is why the Chamber created the Workforce Development Initiative in partnership with TrueNorth Educational Cooperative 804. As a natural conduit between the aforementioned school district and Highland Park employers, the Chamber helps to create a hiring pipeline utilizing a previously untapped talent pool of students - those with disabilities.


This initiative connects young adults who have unique abilities and adaptive skill sets with employers who are open to creative ways to foster their workforce. When this collaboration succeeds, it benefits employers, students, and our community. It is a win-win-win.



Our businesses are provided direct access to potential employees through a vetted, reliable, and effective pipeline, and ultimately end up seeing a more diverse workforce, with the potential for increased productivity and employee morale, and a healthier culture.

Our area students are provided the same work experience and professional skills training as other members of our community and are allowed to invest themselves into the work they are given as well as in themselves through vocational training and personal skills development.

Our community flourishes when we all are given opportunities to thrive. When these interconnected areas of education and business are invested in and paid direct attention to, the synergy of a prosperous community begins.



If you are truly an invested community member, know your impact and reach grow far beyond the prosperity of physical location. Taking advantage of this hiring pipeline makes you an integral part of the future quality of life in our community.

Reach out to the Chamber today to gain more information about this Workforce Development Initiative. We are excited to talk to you about what your options are and how you can be a part of this community's collective prosperity. Contact Lori Rubin Dekalo at (847) 432-0284 or

Together let's strive to make Highland Park a great place to live, work, and play. Where all people can lead enviable lives.

About TrueNorth Educational Cooperative 804:

TrueNorth Educational Cooperative 804 is a cooperative serving 18 public school districts in the northern suburbs of Chicago. They support students with disabilities from preschool up until age 22. Their goal is to prepare individuals to be full participants in their communities through competitively paid employment.

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