Chicago Career Tech Now Accepting Applications for Technology Job Retraining

Unemployed white-collar Chicagoans can gain new skills to get back to work through innovative program this fall

Jul 19, 2010, 16:53 ET from Chicago Career Tech

CHICAGO, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 30,000 of Chicago's unemployed residents are former middle-income workers, yet they are largely left out of public programs aimed at supporting and retraining dislocated workers. Chicago Career Tech, an innovative job retraining program providing unemployed white-collar workers with the training and education necessary for high-demand technology-based careers, announced today that applications are being accepted for its second class session. Capacity has been expanded to accommodate 325 participants — approximately double the size of a pilot program launched in May of this year. The program hopes to enroll 2,100 participants over the next three years.

"Chicago Career Tech is an exciting idea that has the potential to put a great number of Chicagoans back to work by providing paths to jobs in areas such as healthcare, information technology, telecommunications and others – all fast growing industries with increasing career opportunities," said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who envisioned the program while speaking with residents who had been laid off. "Chicago is the only city in the nation that is currently focusing on retraining this 'forgotten class' and helping displaced middle-class residents of our city rebuild their careers."

The six-month, six-day-a-week Chicago Career Tech program features classroom training, hands-on employer- and service-based learning with a corporation and nonprofit organization, and career and professional development. Upon completion of the program, participants will have the skills necessary to succeed in technology-based careers, including opportunities in high-demand fields such as: Digital Media, Healthcare Help Desk, Healthcare Information Technology, Microsoft Certified Tech Specialist, Project Management and Telecommunications. Chicago Career Tech participants receive a weekly stipend in addition to any unemployment benefits to which they may be entitled.

Applications are available exclusively online at through August 13 for the upcoming class session, which will run mid-October 2010 through April 2011. To be eligible to qualify for the program, potential participants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • City of Chicago resident
  • Minimum of a high school diploma or GED
  • Unemployed (after January 1, 2008), with previous annual income of $25,000 to $75,000
  • Currently collecting or have exhausted unemployment insurance in the State of Illinois
  • Not currently enrolled in another job training program

"Chicago Career Tech is a very exciting public-private partnership that assists Chicago residents who need new or different skills to compete in today's job market," said Marie Lynch, executive director of Chicago Career Tech. "The program's unique design has the potential to strengthen the city's position as a premier global business location by providing a strong technology workforce."

Funded by grants, foundation support and private sector donations, Chicago Career Tech, which currently operates out of the nonprofit World Business Chicago, is helping to build Chicago's technology workforce and attract prospective employers to the city, while assisting displaced white-collar workers in securing the skills needed to succeed in today's competitive job market.

Many of these unemployed middle-income workers had held professional and administrative jobs for years or even decades. After being displaced through layoffs and other workforce reductions, these individuals often do not have the resources available to secure the training they need to be marketable in today's technology-driven economy.

Chicago Career Tech is an innovative job retraining program developed to provide unemployed middle-income workers with the training and education necessary for high-demand technology-based careers. Leveraging public-private partnerships, Chicago Career Tech provides high-quality education and career counseling to participants, complemented by hands-on learning at local businesses and nonprofits. Supported by the business community and operated out of World Business Chicago, the program strengthens Chicago's position as a technology center, while providing a path into technology jobs for displaced workers. For more information, visit

World Business Chicago is a nonprofit economic development organization promoting metropolitan Chicago. WBC markets Chicago's competitive advantages, coordinates business retention and attraction efforts, and seeks to enhance Chicago's business-friendly environment. WBC's Board of C-level corporate executives is chaired by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. For more information, visit

SOURCE Chicago Career Tech