SKOKIE, Ill. - Chicago companies are finding a solution to the labor shortage.
They are tapping into the special needs community to fill vital roles.
Skokie-based Shore Community Services trains individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to work in many fields.
They partner with dozens of local companies to place workers.
"I just love it here, and I love the place here, and I love the company," said Cynthia Hogg, a Shore Community Services participant and employee at Quantum Group in Morton Grove.
The commercial printing company employs 15 individuals who were trained by Shore.
"We underestimate what they're capable of doing, and we should never do that ," said Quantum CEO Cheryl Kahanec.
Shore’s services are free for participants. They are a government funded program.
"They're working. They're paying taxes. They're like everybody else, they're a part of the workforce," said Shore Community Services CEO Alexis Alm.
Marcus Jones also went through the job training program.
He’s been an employee at the Mariano’s in Harwood Heights for four years.
"I love everything about the job," said Jones.
Now more than ever, employers need help.
The U.S. hasn’t faced a worker shortage like this in 80 years.
Goldman Sachs reported in February that there were four and a half million more jobs than there were potential workers.
"We'll work with each company, as partners, to build and help train the individuals [to find the] very, very best employee for each of our business partners in the community," said Alm.
Quantum Group and Mariano’s have found a solution to a worker shortage that has changed their companies for the good.
"We're proud to have them. They've really augmented our staff here," said Kahanec.
"We take inclusion very seriously. Looking at our workforce, mostly we want our associates to be their best selves every day, and we do that with inclusion," said Mariano’s Strategic Brand Development Director Amanda Puck.
Shore Community Services is looking for companies that want to hire their workers.
If you’re interested, head to www.ShoreServices.org.