Business Leaders Honor UCH for Employee Development

Business leaders honor University of Chicago Hospitals for employee development

July 11, 2002

On July 11, 2002, Mayor Richard M. Daley joined leading corporate CEOs Philip M. Condit, Chairman & CEO of The Boeing Company, and John W. Rowe, Chairman, President & CEO of Exelon Corporation, to launch WorkforceChicago 2.0, a project designed to increase the Chicago region's ability to attract and maintain a quality workforce.

Eleven leading Chicago companies -- including the University of Chicago Hospitals, the only hospital selected -- were honored at the kick-off ceremony for putting successful educational programs in place to enhance business development.

These educational programs help companies attract, enhance and retain talented employees. They use partnerships with educational institutions, new technologies for effective learning, and the creation of multiple "informal" learning environments to help their staff acquire new skills.

"At the University of Chicago Hospitals, we have made a conscious decision to emphasize employee education and training as another way to make us the health care employer of choice," said Michael Riordan, President and CEO of the University of Chicago Hospitals. "We firmly believe our organization's investment in employee learning directly improves patient satisfaction and loyalty."

Facing an increasingly competitive, rapidly changing healthcare environment, the University of Chicago Hospitals wanted to build a culture of continuous learning. So in January, 1993, the Hospitals developed the first corporate university in the health care industry--the UCH Academy.

Since its inception the UCH Academy, under the direction of Judy Schueler, has dramatically increased employees' participation in learning initiatives. In 1993, the Academy supported over 4,300 course enrollments; five years later that number had increased to 32,000. As a consequence, staff turnover dropped from 26 percent down to 15 percent in three years. Now, nearly 30 percent of hospital employees participate in elective learning opportunities each year, higher than average for most industries.

"Turning the Chicagoland region into a prime talent pool for the 21st century economy is essential for us to compete on the world economic stage," said Mayor Daley as he recognized the 11 featured companies.

WorkforceChicago 2.0 was formed nearly two years ago as a collaborative initiative between the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Human Resources Management Association of Chicago, and World Business Chicago to help the Chicago region become a "prime talent pool for the 21st century economy."

Through support from The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this initiative was created to provide a framework for businesses to learn about new models of learning and development for all employees. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development, and The Chicago Workforce Board have also recently endorsed WorkforceChicago 2.0.

The other 10 companies were Allstate, Bank One, Bimba Manufacturing Company, Dunlee, Ernst & Young, Golin/Harris International, Motorola, Inc., The Northern Trust Company, S&C Electric Company and TruServ Corporation.