Project Match founder honored
In 1985, Toby Herr, ’82, had an insight into the lives of the chronically unemployed: the problem wasn’t the lack of a job.
Just as giving a toddler a pen didn’t magically confer an ability to write, giving a person a job didn’t give that person the whole constellation of competencies that make a person employable.
On Friday, October 29, the Alumni of Erikson Institute will recognize the power of Herr’s insight—and of the organization she created to act on it—with the Founders Award, given during association’s annual meeting at Erikson.
The organization Herr founded is Project Match, designed to give the unemployed the developmental supports they needed to join the world of work. Long admired by policymakers and program administrators dealing with workforce attachment, the project’s employment model for community-based organizations and case management system for welfare agencies have both been replicated at sites around the country. In 2008, the organization accepted the ultimate accolade. It was only one of eight nonprofits internationally to receive the MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
Project Match recently expanded its direct service activities and is now focused on Chicago’s West Haven neighborhood.