West Side Forward
West Side Forward (WSF) is committed to driving economic revitalization of the Chicago’s West Side by investing in people, systems and infrastructure to foster thriving communities.
WSF asserts that to transform Chicago’s West Side the focus must be substantially reducing poverty utilizing tactics that will move 63,000 people into skilled work that can sustain their families. West Side Forward envisions a vibrant, healthy, economically progressive West Side of Chicago boosting stabilized homeowners, businesses, healthy dining options, gathering spaces and job opportunities nestled throughout the community.
Our vision of Chicago’s West Side becoming an economically thriving community, with opportunities to increase income and wealth for local residents serves as the impetus for a hyper-focus on building the local economy through small business development and training the local workforce.
We recognize that thriving communities have five core elements - opportunity, access to resources and health social networks, stability and safety. The first step in transformational change to bring about a thriving community is to reduce the concentration of poverty via opportunity.
WSF plans to reduce concentrated poverty on Chicago’s West Side through focusing exclusively on the tactics that will move 63,000 people into skilled work that can sustain their families. Through in-depth analyses of the communities we serves, what ails them and best remedy to increase the probably of sustained economic transformation, we have identified the specific scope and scale of what must be accomplished our structured our core work to address the work that must be done.
Our efforts are targeted to assure that the development of businesses and jobs for the West Side align with the economic growth, development and jobs of the Chicago region. We believe that it is essential that the economy of the West Side move from one of high levels of government support and low levels of sustainability into the mainstream regional economy, interconnected with the economy of the larger region and producing a net export economy for the West Side.
West Side Forward’s primary investment areas for bringing about community transformation are business development, workforce development and industrial development advocacy on the West Side of Chicago.
OUR MAJOR TACTICS
Creating jobs in the community and the larger region
Preparing West Side resident for those jobs
Connecting residents to those jobs
Supporting residents once they are employed
Build a self-sustaining West Side economy that is connected to the larger regional economy.
Strengthen community capacity to benefit from investment
Create opportunities to bring individuals and families out of poverty.
Support policies and systems that help communities thrive.
Ed Coleman, President & CEO
Email | LinkedIn
Roxanne Charles, Chief Engagement Officer
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Vasco Bridges, Chair
Jeff Bell, Treasurer
ARC Precision, Managing Partner / Dominican University Professor
Melanie Mosley, Secretary
National Society of Black Engineers Chicago Chapter President / Light Dynamics, CEO
Ed Coleman, President & CEO, West Side Forward
Dr. Irene Abrons, Dean Online & Innovative Programs, Joseph Business School
Roxanne Charles, Chief Engagement Officer, West Side Forward (ex-officio)
Joel Simon, Managing Director - Workforce Strategies, Burning Glass Technologies
Rendel Solomon, Managing Director, Muller & Monroe Asset Management
Careers at West Side Forward
Illinois SBDC Director at West Side Forward
WSF has undertaken considerable research and writing over the years applying this research as an integral part of our work —creating practical applications, identifying best practices, developing innovative pilot programs, and making recommendations for public policy change.
West Side Forward © 2021