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CURRENT AND RECENT PROJECTS:
Manufacturing Chicago's Future: The Chicago metropolitan area is home to some of the nation's most ambitious local public-private initiatives to strengthen manufacturing. In this series of briefing papers on Chicago-area manufacturing, CUED provides economic development policymakers and practitioners with the information they need to make these efforts successful.
In the series:
New App(renticeship) for Making It In America: The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Carnegie Mellon University, and other Pittsburgh-area economic and workforce development partners are pioneering a multi-employer manufacturing apprenticeship and online job referral system to meet the skill needs of
high technology manufacturing startups in Pennsylvania and help them scale up production in the state. In partnership with Pennsylvania's Keystone Research Center, CUED is conducting a formative, process, and outcomes evaluation of this program. The evaluation, which will conclude in 2015, is
sponsored by the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board.
Illinois Medical District: CUED is conducting an assessment of the economic impact of the Illinois Medical District on the economy of metropolitan Chicago, along with an analysis of the District's workforce. This work is funded by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition.
Regional Economic Resilience: This work, a project of the Building Resilient Regions Network, sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, seeks to understand how regional economies respond to shocks (such as recessions, natural disasters, or the loss of a major industry or employer) and to suggest ways in which regional economies can become more resilient.
Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work: In collaboration with the National Domestic Worker Alliance and DataCenter, CUED conducted the first national survey of domestic workers, a participatory research project designed to document wages and working conditions of a segment of the workforce that is paradoxically both ubiquitous and invisible. The results of this research will inform policy, programs, training, and campaigns to improve the livelihoods of domestic workers, as well as serve as an
organizing and leadership development tool for the Alliance. This project was supported by the Ford Foundation.
Unregulated Work in Chicago: At the start of the 21st century, workplace laws are failing to protect our country's workers. Workers are enduring minimum wage and overtime violations, hazardous working conditions, discrimination, and retaliation for speaking up or trying to organize. Unregulated Work in Chicago is the first study of its kind, exposing systematic and routine violations of employment and labor laws in core sectors of the economy. In partnership with Cornell University, National Employment Law Project, and UCLA, we conducted a landmark survey of workers in low-wage industries in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Here, we present findings for Chicago and suburban Cook County, in order to document the extent to which employers in the Chicago area are complying with state and federal laws. The study was funded by the Ford Foundation, Haynes Foundation, Joyce Foundation, and Russell Sage Foundation.
Opportunity Chicago: 2006-2010, Improving Access to Employment for Public Housing Residents in Chicago and The Promise and Challenge of Transitional Jobs: Opportunity Chicago 's Transitional Jobs Experience: In collaboration with Abt Associates, Inc., CUED conducted a hybrid formative and summative evaluation of the five-year (2006 - 2010), $23 million Opportunity Chicago workforce development initiative supporting the Chicago Housing Authority's (CHA) Plan for Transformation, and documenting the model for use by local and national public workforce development systems.
The initiative sought to place 5,000 CHA public-housing residents into stable jobs by the end of 2010 by
providing residents with intensive support services and expanded employment skills and training programs, as well as advocating for public policy changes to improve the local workforce development system's capacity to serve residents and help them earn family-supporting incomes. The evaluation
was funded by The Partnership for New Communities.
An Economic and Workforce Development Strategy for the Chicago Climate Action Plan (with Center on Wisconsin Strategy and Green For All): This project examines options and opportunities for the City of Chicago to develop a coordinated economic and workforce development strategy related to the implementation of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy for greenhouse gas emission reductions that was released in September 2008. This research considered areas of likely labor market impacts of CCAP-related strategies, in terms of new job creation, changing skill requirements, and economic development opportunities. For three key impact areas – Energy Efficiency, Landscape and Horticulture, and Recycling and Reuse – CUED also analyzed potential career ladders and training gaps for those occupations. The project is supported by the Global Philanthropy Partnership, with funding from Nathan Cummings Foundation and Fry Foundation.
Evaluation of the City of Chicago’s Sector-Based Workforce Centers Initiative: This project examines the City of Chicago’s recent initiative to open two sector-based centers – one for manufacturing (ManufacturingWorks), one for customer service/hospitality/retail (ServiceWorks) – to organize workforce and related services toward employers in those industries. The evaluation will combine quantitative and qualitative methods to examine whether this approach is a promising one for employers, jobseekers, and for the City’s employment and training system overall. The outcomes of this evaluation will inform the City of Chicago’s ongoing efforts, as well as those of workforce development policy makers nationally, to adopt sector-based, demand-driven approaches. The project is supported by the Chicago Workforce Board with funding from Joyce Foundation.
Day Labor and Worker Centers: CUED is continuing its research on the conditions found at informal hiring sites, as well as worker-center strategies to place a floor under wages and working conditions in day labor markets and other low-wage sectors of the economy. We will be conducting worker surveys in Chicago, Riverside, CA and Seattle to explore the dynamics of day labor markets in these turbulent economic times. The research will inform public policy as well as community programs designed to improve the working conditions of low-wage, contingent workers. This project is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
CUED WORKING PAPERS
2013-2. Howard Wial, Metropolitan Economies in the Great Recession and After.