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Non-Profit Community-Building Award: Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago

The Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago was founded in 1967 by a group of small business owners who came together to address the deteriorating economic and social conditions on Chicago's Near West Side. Since then, the organization has embarked on several initiatives that have increased job training and employment for area residents, enhanced opportunities for entrepreneurship, encouraged collaborative efforts on public works projects and strengthened companies in the community's industrial corridor. Among the organization's programs and achievements are:

The Business Employment Services program: ICNC's Business Employment Services program links employers in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor with local residents looking for work. The program has helped more than 150 job seekers find employment with Near West Side companies.

Fulton Carroll Center Incubator: The FCC helps community residents overcome the obstacles to starting and operating a small business. It currently houses 80 tenants, approximately 20 of which are start-up businesses that came to the FCC in the past year.

Uniting the Shared Interests of Businesses and Residents: ICNC works with business and community representatives to achieve consensus on a wide range of issues, including for example a City of Chicago proposal to create a gated area in the Kinzie corridor and the effort to create a new Green Line L stop at Damen Avenue.

Retaining and Strengthening Industry: ICNC helps retain and strengthen Kinzie corridor companies by providing information on public and private resources for companies, offering networking and educational opportunities and advocating for business interests.