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Obama Foundation and Lakeside Alliance open Resource Center in Woodlawn

Obama Foundation and Lakeside Alliance open Resource Center in Woodlawn

On September 28, 2022, the Obama Foundation and Lakeside Alliance joined elected officials, business owners, and members of the Obama Presidential Center workforce and business communities for a special ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the Lakeside Alliance Resource Center in Woodlawn.

The Resource Center is a dedicated space for neighbors in surrounding communities to visit and access information related to the Obama Presidential Center, participate in career development workshops, learn about apprenticeship programs, and meet with representatives from the Lakeside Alliance and the Obama Foundation.

Obama Foundation and Lakeside Alliance open Resource Center in Woodlawn
5th Ward Alderman Leslie A. Hairston speaks

Chicago Alderperson Leslie Hairston, Woodlawn Chamber of Commerce Board Director Marcus Gill, and members of the Obama Foundation were among those who provided remarks noting the impact the Resource Center will have in the South Side community and the opportunity it brings to neighbors interested in construction jobs at the presidential center.

“The Obama Foundation takes our commitment to work with communities on the South Side to create something special with the Obama Presidential Center very seriously. We’ve reached, and even surpassed, our workforce diversity commitment goals with our We Can Build It Initiative, so we know great things are possible when we come together.

This Center only furthers our efforts to introduce new career pathways in construction and extend job opportunities to our community members in Woodlawn and neighboring communities,” said Michael Strautmanis, Obama Foundation Executive Vice President, External Affairs.

The event took place on the anniversary of the Obama Presidential Center Groundbreaking Ceremony in Jackson Park in Chicago, IL on September 28, 2021. Since breaking ground, the Foundation has:

• Announced that it’s on track to meet its ambitious workforce and business diversity commitment goals for construction through its “We Can Build It Consortium”—an initiative the Foundation created to get more local residents involved in the building trades.  To date:

o 52 percent of construction contracts have been awarded to diverse vendors;

o 32 percent of the Center’s early workforce hired live in the South and West Sides of Chicago;

o and 158 candidates have been placed in jobs around the city.

 • Completed mass excavation and earth retention, allowing concrete work to begin on the Museum and Forum buildings, in addition to the two-story parking garage.

• Introduced its “On Whose Shoulders We Stand” Naming Initiative, bringing more inclusivity to the traditional process of donor-named spaces—honoring civil rights and social justice leaders whose significant contributions to society advanced justice and equality in America;

• Continued its partnership with the Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative to invest in Chicago’s South Side and drive economic growth. Emerald South recently launched Terra Firma, a 5-year $25 million land care initiative to beautify, maintain, and activate over 205 acres of land on Chicago’s South Side.

Obama Foundation and Lakeside Alliance open Resource Center in Woodlawn

To learn more about the Lakeside Alliance Resource Center and its upcoming career events, visit:

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