New Job-Training Program Aids Middle-Aged Middle Class

CHICAGO (CBS) — One new program that’s helping put people back to work in Chicago focuses on the middle class – those people who were plugging along in careers, only to have the rug pulled out from under them.

Originators of the program wanted to find a way to help the more than 30,000 people in the city who simply weren’t eligible for any public job-training program. The reason: They made too much money.

Friday, CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talked to one of the first graduates of Chicago Career Tech.

Linda Stanford never dreamed she’d be working in information technology.  But she’s thrilled with her new job in IT Support at Accretive Health Services, after being laid off from a call center in 2009.

“After 30 years of being employed, it was devastating,” Stanford said.

After taking several lower-paying jobs, she heard about Chicago Career Tech.

“This is a program for folks who made between $25,000 and $75,000 a year,” Executive Director Marie Trzupek Lynch said. “Our average age is 44. They had worked for many, many years at the same company.”

The six-month program focuses on technology-based careers. Students receive classroom training and hands-on learning at a corporation or a not-for-profit for free. In fact, the program offers an average weekly stipend of $300, plus you can continue to receive unemployment.

“The program they put together was a phenomenal program,” Stanford said.

Stanford received training at Accretive, and after graduating from the program was offered a full-time job. She’s one of the first 150 graduates.  But a whole new class is hoping for similar results.

Stanford says it was a scary transition, but she offers this advice: “When you enter the program, give it your all — because there is something else at the other side of the tunnel.”

Chicago Career Tech will start taking applications Monday for its next class of 400.

To be eligible: You have to be from Chicago; have a high school certificate; you have to have made between $25,000 and $75,000 a year at your last job, and you must have received unemployment. Deadline to apply is March 4.

Click here for more information.

  • Cheryl

    This is a wonderful program being offered. Why does the people who qualify have to live in Chicago. I live 42 miles away and have been unemployed for almost a year. I have never made 26,000.00 a year, am a high school graduate and 54 years old. Is there any program of this type being offered thru any organization or thru the unemployment services? Thank You!

  • New Job Training Program Aids Middle-Aged Middle-Class — Chicago Career Tech

    […] to story: Apply Now Become a Partner Contact […]

  • Marcia

    This program is unbelievable. I wasn’t aware the City of Chicago was in such great financial shape to be able to offer an average weekly stipend of $300 to the CCT students, who are allowed to continue collecting Unemployment. 24 weeks x $300 x 150 = $1,080,000 in potential stipends. The program is looking to put through an additional 400 students, which amounts to an additional $2,880,000 in potential stipends. Snaps and claps to those fortunate enough to be accepted into the program, but leers and jeers to the City of Chicago for their fiscal irresponsibility.

    • D. Kizaire

      Sounds like sour grapes. The city is smart enough to realize that the people landing jobs because of being better able to compete will pay taxes. The amount being spent to educate the participants in this project is a drop in Lake Michigan.

      Try looking at the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.

  • CharleS France

    I am 39 years old with custody of my three children.Work as a remodeler and it is slow, I would love to seek other opportunities. If i qualify please contact me

  • Teresa Strunewitz

    My name is Teresa Strunewitz I have had some of the worst luck in the last 2 years.
    I need help in getting some trainingin a new field ,I recently lost my job and am slowly losing my confidents I have two girls I support and having a hard time keeping up with our bills. Can someone help me get back on track and help me learn another occupation. I have worked in medical records and the healthcare area and enjoy this line of work please help me get more traing .

  • Linda Young

    My name is Linda Young. I have been laid off for over a year, and I have been looking for employment everyday. I fall in the bracket where you could graduate from High School and get a good job without going to college. I now find myself laid-off. This program would really help me. I only need a chance to learn and get my life back on track. I just need help with getting a job. I work hard amd take my jobs seriously. Any help to get a job would be deeply appreciated. If I do not get into this class is there any other program that I would qualify for? I just found out this program last Friday on the news and was surpised that it existed. How do you find out about job training Programs? I have worked in the Customer Service field. Thank you!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live