Growth 180 is a natural extension of Greater Englewood CDC’s Invest In Englewood campaign (“IIE”). The goals and objectives outlined in the Growth 180 Strategic Plan represent the implementation of objectives identified within the Rebuild portion of the campaign. Particularly it builds on the business support and workforce development objectives. In an effort to remain consistent with IIE, Growth 180’s support efforts will begin in the initial Target Zone identified within the campaign as:
63rd Street-71st Street and from Halsted Street to the Dan Ryan Expressway
The Growth 180 support platform was developed under one simple premise: ongoing business support and workforce development efforts will strengthen Greater Englewood’s economy. Discussions with business owners and examination of economic development plans specific to Greater Englewood have brought Greater Englewood CDC to the conclusion that businesses do not currently have the on-going, comprehensive support they need to grow. Additionally, current workforce development efforts are generally implemented in isolation to business support. We see business support and workforce development as directly proportional to one another. By addressing the two simultaneously we believe Greater Englewood’s economic environment will be stabilized more quickly.
Growth 180 is intended to act as a partner with the Greater Englewood community to achieve three major goals: Grow existing businesses, Grow new businesses, and Grow the workforce. This initiative could be viewed as a hybrid of Special Service Area activities, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programming, chamber of commerce offerings and consulting services offered by the private sector. We have researched economically viable communities throughout the City of Chicago and all contain vehicle(s) that offer most if not all of the afore-mentioned services. Some examples are Roger’s Park, Hyde Park, and Greater Auburn Gresham.
Additionally, as Growth 180 is supporting community businesses and addressing workforce development issues it will collect, analyze, manage and disseminate relevant data. The collection of real time data is an important step toward a stronger economy. Current business and workforce data relative to Greater Englewood is either non-existent, dated, or not detailed enough to truly depict the current reality. The data collected through Growth 180 will be used as a platform to organize and connect local business owners as well as individuals seeking to further develop their job skills. This information will also act as a conduit to create stronger links between resources.