ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Supporting job creation, business recovery and growth in disinvested communities in Chicago.

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MISSION

To help drive financial flows from the global marketplace back into Chicago’s urban landscape. With our partners in business, workforce development, and government, we will attract, establish, and grow businesses on the south and west sides of Chicago that produce globally competitive goods and services that are sold to large buyers and distributors in Chicago and around the world.

Chicago’s south and west sides have experienced significant loss of businesses over the last 70 years: steel and coal processing, machinery, automotive, rail car, food processing, and the businesses that make the thousands of things that go into all of them. Those departures, and closings, resulted in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and have left behind thousands of acres of unproductive space in predominantly African American neighborhoods.

Globally Competitive Goods & Services

Together Chicago is supporting and strengthening businesses that produce healthcare supplies and devices used by hospitals, doctors offices, nursing homes, and day care facilities, food and beverage products including urban agriculture and value-added food products, businesses that engineer and manufacture precision metal and plastic components and assemblies that are built into trains, plains, cars, trucks, boats, windows, doors, light fixtures, appliances, furniture, plumbing, roofs, walls, sporting goods, tools, and instruments, power installations, electrical hardware, and wood and stone products that are built into cabinetry, counter tops, floors and walls.

Workforce Development & Job Creation

These new and strengthened local businesses will be destinations, and stepping stones, for hundreds and thousands of Chicagoans who are

  • Coming up through our schools, technical institutes, and colleges
  • Currently underemployed or working in jobs that cannot pay head-of-household wages
  • Returning to civilian life after serving in our armed forces
  • Returning to open society after completing time for criminal convictions

Instead of losing talent to other cities, or to inactivity and discouragement, we desire to see God’s image bearers in Chicago gainfully participate in productive economic activity.

Supply-Chain Localization

Together Chicago is working to help bring these strengthened businesses to the attention of a leading healthcare provider that purchases over $100M each year in supplies and services.  We are successfully helping these companies qualify as new supply-chain partners.

Home Ownership

To help new employees anchor themselves in these revitalized communities, rather than simply commute in for work, we have created a home ownership initiative:

  • For-sale, single-family homes
  • Within walking distance of these new jobs
  • With modern, beautiful amenities,
  • Robust construction
  • Ultra-high energy efficiency
  • With down payment assistance and favorable underwriting from major banks
  • Financial and homeownership literacy programs
  • At a price point that is comparable to local rent levels

Working individuals and families that step into these sorts of career opportunities, and this sort of home ownership will have the opportunity to experience higher household incomes, and asset ownership and appreciation that, we hope, will be a part of breaking cycles of poverty and discouragement, and will lead to generations of economic security and stability.

When you fashion solutions, weave some mercy into them.

– Ray Carter

Our Team

Mark O’Halloran

Director of Economic Development

Mark O’Halloran is a manufacturing entrepreneur with 25 years’ experience starting and running engineering-centric businesses. As CEO, Mark created shareholder value by reinventing factory floors to achieve productivity gains of 400% – 600%, building world-class teams, securing intellectual property, and then bringing those competitive advantages to global customers.

Mark got his start at Griffith Foods where he was mentored by the CEO and financial team to study new markets, develop business plans, and allocate capital for their dozen international subsidiaries.

He speaks Spanish, German, and French, and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. He and his wife of 33 years have 6 adopted adult children.

Shelby Parchman

Director of Business Incubation

Shelby Parchman is a seasoned serial entrepreneur who has parlayed his experience into a career focused on assisting start-up and existing businesses. Prior to becoming Managing Partner of InUrban Strategies LLC and Director of Business Incubation at Together Chicago, Shelby was the Managing Director of Sunshine Enterprises. After obtaining a Dual B.S. in Biology and Chemistry and then a Master’s in Analytical Chemistry, Shelby started his professional career as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry.

He started many successful small businesses including, BHK Laboratories, Inc. and the Functional Beverage Group, Inc.

Some of his current projects include assisting Rush University Medical Center with supply chain localization, working with the staff of the Good Food Accelerator to assist in the development of business growth strategies for early-stage CPG food businesses, and the development of GFA extension programming that will enable food entrepreneurs in underserved communities to have access to retail distribution and funding opportunities. Shelby is also developing a shared commercial kitchen and event space in the Bronzeville community.

Brian Ng

Associate Director of Economic Development

Brian Ng is a native Chicagoan from the Bridgeport neighborhood.  In addition to serving as Associate Director of Economic Development for Together Chicago, Brian also serves as the Director of Finance and Sr. Director of City and Global Ministries for Holy Trinity Church in Chicago.  He received his MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has been interested in topics such as work and faith integration, stewardship and social entrepreneurship.   

Prior to seminary, he worked in finance and investments for 12 years in Chicago, New York and Hong Kong.  He has a BS in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a MBA form the Booth School of Business.  Brian is married to Rebecca and they have two young active sons, Tyson and Ethan.

GET INVOLVED

Be a part of this collective effort to increase economic opportunities

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