A skilled worker in the manufacturing industry can anticipate a lifetime of financial stability in a vibrant, in-demand field. But for many, getting the necessary training and education to launch a career in the trades can be daunting, and even cost prohibitive. The folks at Jane Addams Resource Center know there’s no time like the present to take your career—and your life—by the reins.
Founded in 1985, as an economic development agency focused on preserving manufacturing jobs in and around the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor, Jane Addams Resource Center (JARC) has blossomed into one of Chicago’s most vital resources for unemployed and low-income workers seeking careers in the trades.
JARC operates under the guiding principles that people who work should not live in poverty, and that focusing on careers can lead to lasting, substantive change. At their three locations in Austin, Ravenswood, and Chatham, they’ve provided free job training programs for thousands of Chicagoans, empowering them to transform their lives and support their families through well-paying jobs while helping to fill a void of highly skilled workers in the U.S. manufacturing space.
As a 501c3 nonprofit, JARC is mission driven, focused on alleviating poverty in Chicago and promoting gainful paths to employment that lead to family sustaining wages. During this season of giving you can support JARC by making a contribution on 11/29 for Giving Tuesday.
Getting started on a brand-new career path with JARC’s job training program is as easy as registering for one of the weekly application sessions, which are held in person on the first Wednesday of each month, and virtually every Wednesday in between. Applicants can choose between several different programs focusing on in-demand skills, which currently include: Manufacturing Bridge Program, Fundamentals of Manufacturing, Mechanical Assembly, CNC Operating, and Welding. (Courses run anywhere from ten to 20 weeks.) Rather than a traditional classroom setting with long lectures and copious amounts of homework, JARC’s training programs simulate a manufacturing workplace environment, adhering to strict attendance and safety protocols, while prioritizing peer learning, teamwork, and leadership development through hands-on, project-based lessons.
JARC applies a holistic lens when working with students; this approach better addresses their needs beyond career training and education alone. Trainees can tap into an array of support services, such as financial education and coaching, legal aid, and help with applying for Medicaid, and other public benefits. These services are also available at no cost, and students may be eligible for further assistance, such as prepaid public transit cards to offset the cost of commuting to class or funds to help pay for costly but necessary safety gear.
As JARC students prepare to complete their programs and transition into their new professions, they can utilize the center’s resume-writing services, mock interviews, and job-placement opportunities.In fact, some students are able to find employment through JARC before they even finish their studies.
So whether you’re launching your career for the first time, seeking a change, returning to the workforce, or interested in improving your English language and math skills while learning a lucrative, exciting trade, JARC could be the place for you.
This content is sponsored by Jane Addams Resource Corporation.