Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, Divvy and Gap Inc., Announce Initiative for Unemployed

Skills for Chicagoland’s Future—a public-private partnership working to match businesses that have current, unmet hiring needs with qualified, unemployed job seekers—announced a new partnership with Divvy, operated by Alta Bicycle Share, and Gap Inc. that will bring year-round employment opportunities to unemployed Chicago and Cook County job seekers. Launching in April, the innovative “Optimum Employment” pilot program will creatively solve the challenges businesses face with hiring qualified, seasonal employees by linking seasonal positions at Divvy and Gap Inc. stores to create a 12-month employment opportunity for the unemployed.

Developed by Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, Optimum Employment is a first-of-its-kind talent-sharing pilot solution for businesses seeking a dependable pipeline of qualified seasonal workers, while providing job seekers with predictable, long-term employment. For eight months (March-October), candidates will be employed as Divvy rebalancers, supporting bicycle distribution throughout Chicago during the program’s peak months. Then, for four months (October-February), candidates will work as logistics associates at local stores, assisting with shipment, pricing, replenishment and selling during the peak holiday season. Unemployed individuals in the pilot group will begin employment at Divvy in late-April.

Skills for Chicagoland’s Future will recruit and prescreen qualified, unemployed Chicago and Cook County residents to be considered for the pilot program. Divvy human resources representatives will interview the candidates first for employment beginning in April. Once they secure a job with Divvy, candidates will then interview with Gap Inc. for potential employment at one of the company’s stores in October 2014. Candidates hired by Divvy will only convert to Gap Inc. hires after successfully completing their employment with Divvy and must also pass Gap Inc.’s application process.

Unemployed job seekers interested in the pilot program are encouraged to apply now at for positions to begin in late-April. To be considered for the Optimum Employment program, candidates must be currently unemployed and reside in Cook County.

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