WorkforceChicago recognizes Chicago-area companies for their contributions and commitment to their employees’ learning and development – and yesterday, Stephen Chipman, chief executive of Grant Thornton, accepted an award on his firm’s behalf.

“Receiving the 2010 WorkforceChicago Award is a great honor … and presented by Mayor Daley no less!” Chipman said. “Recognition by such an esteemed organization affirms the priority Grant Thornton gives to developing our people. As part of our business strategy, we foster a learning culture, and the reputation for creating this type of professional environment draws the best people to our workforce.”

WorkforceChicago, to date, has recognized 27 companies. Nominees are judged on what the organization has identified as the nine key components of exemplary practice in employee learning and development:

1.    Leadership vision and commitment drive learning.
2.    Employee learning is aligned with business goals.
3.    Learning and development functions are strategically positioned within senior management.
4.    Leadership development is emphasized at all levels of the organization.
5.    Firm is committed to expanding knowledge beyond job-related or technical skills.
6.    Informal learning opportunities are structured at the workplace.
7.    Technology is used strategically to meet learning objectives.
8.    Alliances with educational institutions are central to learning strategy.
9.    Assessment of impact is measured.

In addition to Grant Thornton, Potbelly Sandwich Works also received a 2010 award.