Retail and Hospitality Employers Convene To Address Retention of Front-Line Workers
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Reimagine Retail Chicagoland's Innovation Lab will help improve the livelihood of underemployed populations while delivering a return on investment for employers

CHICAGO - April 29, 2019 - illiNews -- Reimagine Retail Chicagoland, in partnership with Talent Rewire, announces the launch of the inaugural Chicago Innovation Lab for employers. The first cohort of eight retail, hospitality and food service employers will come together on Tuesday, April 30th and Wednesday, May 1st at The Hatchery Chicago (, to share ideas and pilot new approaches to hiring, supporting, and retaining frontline employees over the next nine months. The pilots will address each employer's most pressing frontline talent challenge.

The retail industry spends approximately $9B annually ( on turnover among frontline staff. Investments made by employers to retain individuals in these critical customer-support roles result in real business value.

"We are excited by the prospect of engaging with employers in Chicago and creating the space for them to learn from each other, create a pilot, and consider the business case for investing in their workers," said Cyndi Solitro, Program Director of Reimagine Retail Chicagoland.

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"Partnering with Reimagine Retail will provide an opportunity for Chicago-area Human Resources and Operations professionals to apply systems and design-thinking to assess barriers and opportunities in their approaches to talent," said Nicole Trimble, Executive Director, Talent Rewire. "As a result of engaging employers in the Innovation Lab, Reimagine Retail will encourage meaningful practice change that leads to better employment outcomes for individual workers and employers."

Among the employers included in the first cohort are:

CVS Health (

Dealer Inspire (

East Bank Club (

Five Guys (

Fleet Feet Sports (

Hospitality Butlers (

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (

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SMASHotels (

About Reimagine Retail

Reimagine Retail Chicagoland ( is a workforce initiative funded by the Aspen Institute with support from the Walmart Foundation. A collaborative of the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance (, Reimagine Retail Chicagoland helps to improve the quality of jobs for workers in entry-level positions, creating pathways for advancement in retail and related sectors, and increasing retention for employers.

About Talent Rewire

Talent Rewire (, an initiative of FSG, is cultivating a network of employers who want to create lasting change for their workforce and their business. Talent Rewire has worked with over 25 employers in the U.S. across industries to demonstrate the business value of rewiring talent practices to improve outcomes for underemployed populations.

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Cyndi Solitro

Source: Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance
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