The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce has a number of initiatives that enhance the Springfield & Sangamon County workforce.
The Business/Education Partnership of Sangamon County was developed in late 2005 by an ad hoc committee of community leaders convened by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Through its deliberations, mission and vision statements were drafted, as well as agreements reached to hire an executive director and to appoint an advisory board.
The BEP board functions under a set of Operational Guidelines and is a county-wide coalition of businesses, unions, community-based organizations, and education interests (K-16, private and public). Sarah Graham, The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Director of Workforce & Medical Development, serves as Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for the administration of the Partnership and its programs and initiatives.
ELEVATE Springfield Young Professionals is a diverse group of young professionals, ages 21-35, in the Springfield area that provides unique opportunities to network with your peers through various mentoring and professional development events.
Mission: to connect and empower young professionals throughout the Greater Springfield area.
Vision: to be the premiere organization that attracts, retains and enhances young leaders through professional and personal development opportunities.
Mentoring and professional development activities are designed to allow young professionals to expand their personal networks and build lasting connections with not only their peers and other business professionals, but also the many commercial, charitable, and artistic venues in Springfield.
If you have questions, please Contact Us.
Leadership Springfield (LS) is a program that aims to develop, strengthen, train, and equip local professionals to benefit the Springfield community. Established in 1986 by The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Junior League of Springfield, LS is an eight-month series of seminars during which participants gain leadership skills and in-depth exposure to critical issues affecting the Springfield area. During the program, participants interact with community leaders and decision makers who share diverse perspectives on significant accomplishments and opportunities within the Springfield community.
LS is the leading community leadership development organization in the Central Illinois area. The eight month program is designed to cultivate and engage emerging and existing leaders to work collaboratively for the benefit of the Springfield area. The curriculum examines critical issues that impact the region’s numerous and diverse neighbors. During the program, participants expand their leadership skills while gaining a greater commitment to the community.
Annually, the Springfield Project (TSP) sponsors a Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) which gives local youth, from 15 to 21 years of age, an opportunity to spend their time off from school in a productive manner by gaining job skills while earning a paycheck. Since its inception in 2004, over 350 minority youth have been employed as TSP has invested in excess of $300,000 in this initiative.
TSP has established partnerships with over 40 local businesses including government agencies, private firms, and not-for-profit organizations, which serve as jobsites where youth are assigned to work.
Over a six week period (4-hr work days/ 4 days per week), youth participants are engaged in "earn while you learn" activities to expand their job skills. Some positions represent administrative support, maintenance, camp counseling, and yard/landscaping projects.
The SYI assists participants in acquiring work experience and leadership development through high value, supervised job placements. In return, participants learn skills they can carry with them as they move into higher education or directly into the workforce.