United Way of Metro Chicago Launches Neighborhood Network in Elgin with Leadership Gift from Nicor Gas Foundation

Northwest suburb becomes 14th community in the region to adopt the place-based, resident-led investment model

Elgin, IL – March 15, 2023 - United Way of Metro Chicago, in collaboration with founding supporter Nicor Gas Foundation and lead partner agency Alignment Collaborative for Education, has announced the expansion of its Neighborhood Network Initiative in Elgin. Establishing a Neighborhood Network in Elgin empowers local neighborhood leaders to leverage a multi-year investment from Nicor Gas Foundation and support from United Way to identify and solve issues important to their community.

“United Way has a long-standing relationship and partnership with the Elgin community,” said United Way of Metro Chicago President and CEO Sean Garrett. “Along with the Nicor Gas Foundation, we are thrilled to work with our partners at Alignment Collaborative for Education to launch the Elgin Neighborhood Network and reaffirm United Way’s commitment to the residents of Elgin. Our goal is to continue to work together to build a community where everyone can reach their potential and thrive.”

Alignment Collaborative for Education will lead the vision and work of the Elgin Neighborhood Network to address critical student needs in School District U-46. The district estimates that more than 30% of its students live through multiple adverse childhood experiences and approximately 60% of its students are low income. Backed by Nicor Gas Foundation’s investment, Alignment will address these issues by guiding the Network’s focus on increasing early education preparation, building trauma-informed care school cultures and ensuring students leave high school prepared for the global workforce.

“The launch of the Elgin Neighborhood Network is a gamechanger for the Elgin community,” said Alignment Collaborative for Education Executive Director Nancy Coleman. “We are grateful for United Way of Metro Chicago and the Nicor Gas Foundation for believing in our work and joining our strong coalition of community leaders to ensure all people can thrive in Elgin, starting with crucial education and workforce development programming for our youth.”

As a leading supporter of community-driven efforts, United Way of Metro Chicago launched its Neighborhood Network Initiative in 2013 as an “inside-out,” place-based approach to neighborhood transformation. A decade later, this community-led strategy has gained momentum and garnered millions of dollars in support from philanthropic partners, including the Nicor Gas Foundation. The foundation partners with nonprofits across Illinois to make a meaningful impact by supporting families’ basic needs, enabling economic opportunity and protecting the environment.

“As the founding supporter of the Elgin Neighborhood Network, the Nicor Gas Foundation is honored to join United Way of Metro Chicago and our community partners on this transformative investment,” said Nicor Gas President and CEO Wendell Dallas. “We are committed to advancing equity in education for all young people. Nicor Gas is proud to support the Elgin Neighborhood Network and work in partnership with Alignment Collaborative for Education to provide workforce training opportunities and job readiness programs to better prepare high school students to pursue fulfilling careers.”

In addition to the new Elgin Neighborhood Network, United Way’s Neighborhood Networks include Auburn Gresham, Austin, Blue Island/Robbins, Brighton Park, Bronzeville, Cicero, Englewood, Evanston, Far South, Garfield Park, Little Village, South Chicago and West Chicago. To learn more about United Way’s neighborhood work, visit LIVEUNITEDchicago.org/neighborhood-networks.


About United Way of Metro Chicago
United Way of Metro Chicago brings together businesses, government, philanthropic, individual, and community leaders to deliver funding and resources to and amplify the expertise of nonprofit organizations across greater Chicago. We help individuals meet their basic needs and work alongside neighborhood partners to address local priorities and create communities where all people can thrive. United, we are building a stronger, more equitable Chicago region. To learn more, visit LIVEUNITEDchicago.org.

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit nicorgas.com.

About Alignment Collaborative for Education
The mission of Alignment Collaborative for Education (Alignment) is to align community resources and collaborate with organizations in support of public-school strategies to raise student achievement; create responsible, productive and contributing members of our society; and advance the economic and social well-being of communities served by the Greater Elgin Area. Alignment is a 501(c)3 organization founded by the Greater Elgin business community and the local school system. For more information, visit www.align4edu.org.

Media Contact:
Kris Adamik, 219.928.3154, kris.adamik@LIVEUNITEDchicago.org

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