The West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, was founded in 2000 by area business leaders. The foundation works cooperatively with schools, businesses, and other institutions and organizations to foster programs for the benefit of educators and students, employers and employees, community leaders and residents in Chicago’s western suburbs. Business-education partnerships, and workforce education, leadership and economic development are the areas of the foundation’s focus.
West Suburban Profit and Nonprofit Businesses Join Forces to Build Communities and Support Citizens
The West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation is the recipient of the Organization Rehabilitation Service Award, given by the Illinois Rehabilitation Association, Northern Chapter.
The nomination stated: "This Chamber Foundation and its Board of Directors has taken this mission to the highest degree on behalf of people with disabilities. Since its inception in 2001, the Chamber Foundation has partnered with LADSE in multiple grant-funded projects that promote employment of people with disabilities, job development strategies, job developer's networks, transition of students with autism and self advocacy skill building of young adults in transition. Most recently, the WSCCI Foundation was awarded funding to create a customer service video on servicing customers with disabilities.
This West Suburban Chamber Foundation has led a disability-aware cadre of businesses in our communities. In fact, disabilityworks.org was supported in its development by the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry's EmployAlliance. The focus business model of job development originated with the West Suburban Chamber and was awarded the Illinois Workforce Development award in 2006 for its work on behalf of people with disabilities. That particular initiative alone produced 212 job placements in northern Illinois.
The WSCCI Foundation has been instrumental in marketing to member businesses for job shadow opportunities, volunteers for special school projects, and has coordinated an annual Computer Recycling Drive on behalf of the advancement of workers with disabilities who do de-furbishing of parts but they also and 5 semi truck loads of computer equipment from the landfill each year for the past six years.
The WSCCI and the WSCCI Foundation are exemplary examples of dedication to building the capacity of the community around students, young adults and adults with disabilities. They do it because it is the right thing to do, because they value all members of the community and because they believe in the win-win of our communities. They value education and vocation; they value honesty and integrity of local citizens regardless of their limitations."
The nominator closed with these comments: "I wholeheartedly respect the Chamber, the Foundation and the Board members for their insight and foresight into the capacity of people of all talents within their community. They are a role model and we should hoist the banner for the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation!"
The Chamber is very proud of the Foundation, the Foundation Board of Directors, Foundation Director Katherine Leibforth and Project Producer Donna Hutchinson. With their assistance, we are making the Western Suburbs an excellent area in which to work, live, shop and play.
The Foundation's Customer Service Training product is available for purchase at the Chamber.