Chicago’s corporate leaders were encouraged to take advantage of the diverse, talented and motivated talent pool among community college students to keep the city among the world’s leaders in competitiveness. At One Million Degrees’ annual Corporate Leaders Breakfast, Chicago’s role at the cutting edge of expanding corporate-community college partnerships was highlighted as a key ingredient in the city’s economic success, with corporate investment in students a win for both students and companies alike.
The return on investment in community college students was a central theme during the breakfast, and was underscored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has made access to effective, market-driven community colleges a cornerstone of his strategy to build the middle class, attract business to Chicago, and strengthen the economy and talent pipeline for years to come.
The Corporate Leaders Breakfast highlighted the achievements of OMD alumni such as Ahmad Aladawi, a Syrian immigrant who moved to the U.S. four years ago, knowing no English and without a job. Now an information security analyst at Accenture, Aladawi praised OMD for its combination of mentoring, coaching and financial support while at Wilbur Wright College, plus the opportunity to take advantage of an apprenticeship at Accenture that led to his full-time job.