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Walmart Foundation supports neighborhood-based centers in Chicago

On Thursday, August 22nd representatives from Walmart Corporation were in Chicago to present LISC Chicago with a check in the amount of $100,000 in support of LISC's network of Centers for Working Families (CWFs) across the city.  The CWFs, operated by community-based organizations with the help of LISC Chicago, specialize in taking a holistic approach to people's employment and financial needs, linking job placement and career improvement with financial education and maximizing public benefits.  With support and guidance from LISC Chicago, twelve (12) community-based organizations launched the innovative CWFs to increase financial stability among low-income residents in neighborhoods throughout the city.


Supported by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC), the Auburn Gresham Centers for Working Families launched in 2007 and has been operated by the St. Sabina Employment Resource Center (ERC).  Lisa Ramsey, executive director of the St. Sabina Employment Resource Center (ERC), along with Phil Hunter who manages the CWF, were on hand at the check presentation while a live, employment workshop was going on during the photo session at the site.

Walmart Corporation chose to make the check presentation at the Auburn Gresham Centers for Working Family site located at 1153 West 79th Street Foundataion where John Bisio, Walmart's Public Affairs & Government Relations executive commented that "being in Auburn Gresham with

the GAGDC's  Carlos Nelson, Alderman Howard Brookins (21), and Alderman Latasha Thomas (17) along with State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16) was like being with old family," as Senator Collins thanks Walmart for the contribution as Lisa Ramsey, the center's director and Alderman Brookins look on.

Nelson described the recent history of Walmart in the south side communities that the GAGDC serves as such: "For the better part of a decade, Alderman Howard Brookins battled in the 21st Ward to get a new, Super Walmart store developed at the nearby, former Ryerson Steel site on West 83rd Street to serve Chicago's south side.  Against many odds, this former brownfield site has been transformed and the Super Walmart has been a magnet attracting other national retailers to the site while serving the needs of thousands of southsiders."   Since then, John Bisio and the Walmart team has selected another long vacant, former industrial site in the greater Auburn Gresham community to develop a smaller Walmart store at 76th Street and Ashland Avenue in Alderman Thomas' 17th Ward; construction to begin in 2014.


After Ramsey described the success of the Auburn Gresham CWF site and Susana Vasquez gave an overview of the role of the CWF, Bisio noted that Walmart's overall mission for community development is in line with that of the LISC Centers for Working Families mission in three critical areas: employment; improved financial condition; and improved access to public benefits.


Posted in CAN TV, Community Highlights, Workforce and Career Development

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