Thursday, August 30, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 10:15 p.m.
A local job readiness program that launches orientation next week will prepare young adults for job opportunities — and pay them in the process.
Vision of Restoration, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Maywood, will administer the program, called Career Launch, for the second consecutive year, said Larry James, Vision of Restoration’s executive director.
The initiative, which is funded by the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, pays young people ages 18 to 24 a stipend as they acquire a variety of skills and credentials to obtain sustainable employment. The program lasts for six weeks and starts on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
“You’re making $600 to $1,200 for six weeks to sit in a classroom and receive help,” James said. “At the end of the program, you’re matched with an employer, from whom we hope you’ll be making permanent money.”
James said that the program’s offerings run the gamut — from helping people secure ID’s, GEDs and checking accounts to helping them build their resumes and expunge any criminal records. He added that participants are also sent to a job fair, where they’re guaranteed two interviews with two different employers.
James said that the program is a critical tool for confronting the local unemployment level in Maywood and surrounding suburbs, but that more people need to know that it exists.
“We need to really serve this age demographic,” he said. “We need some support in doing that.”
James said that there should be more communication from people, such as probation officers, who interface with individuals recently released from jail or prison.
“They know they’re about to release them and send them to our community,” Jame said. “The resources need to be fully communicated. We should be turning people away.”
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