Application Supported by Chicago Metro Metal Consortium (CMMC)


OAI, Inc.
(312) 528-3555

AI, Inc. receives $4 million grant to fund Strengthening Working Families in the Chicago Southland OAI, Inc. of Chicago has received a $3,999,981 grant from the U.S. Labor Department to help low- to middle- skilled parents access the affordable, quality child care they need to earn an education, participate in training programs and ultimately compete for better-paying jobs in emerging industries. Since 1976, OAI, Inc has served thousands of job seekers achieve economic stability through workforce training and job placement.

The Strengthening Working Families in Chicago Southland (SWFCS) initiative seeks to address education and training for low to middle skilled parents by increasing their access to child care and bridging the gap between the workforce development and child care systems. The initiative will focus on the 43 south Cook County communities served by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA), which include some of the highest concentration of poverty, unemployment, crime and lowest high school graduation rates within the broader metropolitan area. OAI, in partnership with National Able Network, the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, and Illinois Action for Children will serve 300 low-income parents over four years through comprehensive assessment, broad support services including child care, hands-on technical education and training, job placement and ongoing career coaching services, ultimately assisting at least 204 to secure family-supporting employment. Technical training will be offered for high growth and in-demand H-1B-aligned industries including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and

information technology at regional Community Colleges. The goal is to positively impact not only the lives of the working parents trained through the SWFCS initiative, but to also improve the coordination of the workforce and child care systems for benefit of all job seekers in the region for the long term.

“The Chicago Metro Metal Consortium (CMMC) was pleased to support this initiative as part of the federal Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnerships (IMCP). This regional collaboration will serve vulnerable families and growing businesses with training in areas such as advanced manufacturing in south Cook County.” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “A strong regional partnership such as this will support the long-term growth and stability of the region,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly of the IL 2nd District. “Harnessing these competitive federal resources is important for permanently moving Illinois families out of poverty through this valuable program,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durban.

OAI, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit workforce development agency headquartered in Chicago. OAI’s Mission is to create an environment in which all people can access education, training and employment that will allow them to sustain and enjoy safe, secure and fulfilling lives.

The Calumet Green Manufacturing Partnership (CGMP) initiative enhances the manufacturing and logistics industries in the Calumet Region by addressing the labor/skills mismatch and by promoting careers in manufacturing and logistics to ensure a competitive workforce is a key asset for regional economic development. The accomplishments of CGMP provide an unprecedented opportunity to make significant contributions to the economic prosperity of the South Suburban region.

For more information on OAI, Inc. or the SWFCS initiative, please visit or call Mollie Dowling at (312) 528-3555

Leave a Reply