Step It Up, America
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
A job readiness and training program aimed at helping Black women has been called a successful model by some.
In Chicago since 2014, The Step It Up America program, which is run by IT consulting company UST Global has partnered with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, a not-for-profit organization. Skills connects unemployed and underemployed people with resources and jobs, according to its public relations firm. Skills actively seeks minority women to participate in Step It Up’s IT training program. The two organizations goal is to help black women prepare themselves for jobs in the booming Information Technology industry.
According to Andrea Watson, of Dnainfo, CEO and Founder, Marie Trzupek Lynch, said an organization like Skills is desperately needed, especially for those living in communities such as Auburn Gresham and Englewood. Lynch speaks of the great untapped talent in the neighborhoods they serve and they also happen to be the same neighborhoods hardest hit by unemployment. According to Lynch, there is a demand from employers in Chicago looking for great talent in high unemployment areas. At least 40 percent of the unemployed job seekers Skills placed in 2015 were from south and west side communities with high unemployment rates of more than 20 percent.
Communities like Austin, Chatham, Avalon Park, South Shore, Auburn Gresham and South Chicago. Once selected, the students participate in a paid, hands-on accelerated training program. Upon completion, they are given salaried jobs. The organization’s goal is to train and employ 5,000 women over the next ﬁve years.” For more information you can visit their websites at https://www.joinstepitupamerica.com/en/apply/woman
And, visit Skills for Chicagoland’s Future to create a profile: https://www.skillsforchicagolandsfuture.com/