New Career Program Offers Non-Profits Tech Support

United Way of Metropolitan Chicago connects Chicago Career Tech to non-profit organizations United Way of Metropolitan Chicago is proud to announce a new partnership with Chicago Career Tech (CCT), an initiative led by the mayor and created to develop a corps of trained professionals who will strengthen Chicago’s position as a national center for technology businesses. Supported by the City, business community and non-profit sector, CCT focuses on educating recently laid-off industry workers, with at least a high school degree, in need of additional technology training and access to new career opportunities. Over a six-month period, program participants will split their six-day week among classroom training, on-site tech experience at businesses and service learning at community non-profit agencies. “By investing in these professionals, and partnering with the private sector to train and provide workforce opportunities, we are making Chicago more attractive to prospective employers, while keeping thousands from long-term unemployment,” said Mayor Daley. The City of Chicago called on United Way to connect CCT participants to local non-profit organizations willing to offer service-learning opportunities. Using its strong, existing relationships with area non-profits, United Way will ensure program participants learn new technology skills that speak to the mission and work of their assigned organization. For the first class of CCT participants who start training on May 17, United Way has confirmed 57 non-profit organizations’ participation in the program. “In a time when Illinois’ unemployment rate has surpassed 11 percent, Chicago Career Tech will give professionals the opportunity to learn new skills, while giving back to the non-profit community.” said Laura Thrall, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. “United Way invested nearly $5 million to help families become financially stable last year, so we’re excited to be a part of our state’s unemployment solution this year, too.” The program targets middle-income workers, who make up half of the unemployed population, yet are largely left out of public programs aimed at supporting and retraining dislocated workers. Roughly 30,000 unemployed Chicagoans are part of this population, many of whom held white-collar jobs for years, or even decades, but do not have the training resources available that will make them employable in today’s tech-driven economy. “Chicago Career Tech is a very exciting opportunity for the City of Chicago because it provides access to career opportunities to a large number of Chicago residents who need new or different skills to compete in today’s job market,” said Marie Lynch, Executive Director, CCT. “Our partnership with United Way was a natural tie given their history in the Chicago community and their prominent relationships with the non-profit sector.” Non-profits interested in being a CCT host site for the fall program can visit www.ChicagoCareerTech.com. For more information or to request application materials, please call Carrie Newton, director of the Skills-Based Volunteer Program, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, at 312-906-2283 or via e-mail at Carrie.Newton@uw-mc.org. Chicago residents interested in applying to become a CCT participant can find the application at www.ChicagoCareerTech.com.