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Mayor Emanuel Announces Innovative Jumpstart To Jobs Initiative

6/25/2018 12:00 PM

City Colleges of Chicago and CPS Partner to Provide High School Juniors and Seniors Marketable Employment Credentials for Free in Nine Career Areas 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined the City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools to announce Jumpstart to Jobs - an innovative initiative to provide Chicago’s young people with career-ready skills and marketable credentials for a successful future. Through the initiative, Chicago public high school juniors and seniors can enroll in short-term career programs in one of nine career fields at City Colleges for free.  

“Chicago is a national leader in postsecondary readiness and the Jumpstart to Jobs program is another way we are giving our students the skills they need to succeed when they leave our schools,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This program will help students gain marketable job experience, set and achieve goals, and build a strong foundation for their future.”  

Jumpstart to Jobs supports City Colleges’ new commitment to ensuring more than half of its graduates participate in work-based learning opportunities. The new initiative will give students the opportunity to earn certificates in one of nine career areas: A+ technician, welding, basic nursing assistant, forklift operations, logistics, banking, AutoCAD, early childhood education, and human development and family services.  

The programs range in length; welding, logistics, banking, CAD tech, early childhood education, and human development and family services will be spread out over five courses, while programs like forklift operations can be completed in less than a week. Students successfully completing the programs earn a basic certificate.  

“Our high school students deserve to build the skills and earn the college credentials that prepare them for the job market as soon as they are able,” Chancellor Salgado said. “Jumpstart to Jobs is another key part of our robust partnership with the Chicago Public Schools that offers students the chance to accelerate their entry into the workforce and build a path to wealth.”  

Today marked the first day of class for Jumpstart to Jobs programs in early childhood education, human development and family services, and CAD tech at Truman College. Tomorrow, programs in logistics and banking will begin at Olive-Harvey College and Harold Washington College, respectively.  

Eighteen students have already completed Olive-Harvey’s Forklift Operators program, receiving a Basic Certificate and a National Safety Council Certification, eight Basic Nursing Assistant (BNA) students have earned a BNA certificate, and five students have completed the A+ certification program to date. 

Nicholas Gardner, a graduate of Excel South Shore Academy and a recent forklift completer, now works at PepsiCo as a forklift operator. “Jumpstart to Jobs has opened many doors for me, and has sparked my interest in possibly continuing on and getting my CDL license to become a truck driver,” Gardner said. 

"By working together with our city partners, we can ensure that our students have the necessary skills and credentials they need to hit the ground running when they leave our schools,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. "We have a responsibility to prepare our students for success after high school, and the Jumpstart to Jobs initiative provides additional support and resources to help students explore a variety of paths to a successful career.” 

Acceptance to Jumpstart to Jobs is based on a completed application, CPS attendance record, current transcript and a PSAT score report. Students must be thoughtful about which Career Pathway they apply for, considering important factors like interest in the field and the location of the campus in relation to their high school and home. 

While the offerings are open to all qualifying CPS students, priority will be given to applicants who attend high schools with fewer than 500 students as well as students who attend an Options (alternative) High School. Once an application is received, staff will reach out to the student’s counselor for verification and related documentation.  

For more information, call 773/C-O-L-L-E-G-E. 

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