PepsiCo, the PepsiCo Foundation and Pearl Milling Company, in partnership with the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC) and The Hatchery Chicago, announced the successes and latest news around their work in South and West Side communities to support a better-shared future. With a dozen facilities in the Chicagoland area and more than 5,000 employees, PepsiCo continues to deepen its investment in expanding access to career resources among South and West Side residents including by expanding contributions to the ICNC, which oversees nonprofit food and beverage incubator The Hatchery Chicago. As a collaboration between ICNC and Allies for Community Business, The Hatchery Chicago brings manufacturing space, education, capital and support to Chicagoland’s entrepreneurial community’s entrepreneurial community. In 2019, the PepsiCo Foundation awarded a $1 million grant to The Hatchery Chicago to further transform the lives of local, women-owned food and beverage businesses.
At the same time, a pilot program is currently underway with The Hatchery Chicago at the PepsiCo Beverages North America manufacturing facility on the city’s South Side at 51st Street. The program aims to introduce South and West Side job seekers to opportunities in the food and beverage industry. Together, The Hatchery Chicago and PepsiCo developed a three-week series of classes focusing on careers in manufacturing. To date, seven individuals from Lawndale, Garfield Park, Hermosa Park, Homan Square and Streamwood have completed the three-week series, which is one component of the company’s $5 million, 5-year commitment called Pathways to Readiness and Empowerment Program (PREP), increasing career readiness resources on the South and West Sides.
In October, Pearl Milling Company announced that it had awarded a grant to ICNC, among 17 total nonprofit recipients as part of its P.E.A.R.L. Pledge program supporting meaningful services and education that promote Prosperity, Empowerment, Access, Representation and Leadership for Black women and girls in the U.S. ICNC will receive a $100,000 grant to be used to pay for recruitment for upcoming cohorts, underwrite supplies needed and assist with salary costs for program managers, whose work includes coordinating support services for students, and organizing their restaurant network to supply employment opportunities.