Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Program

AACF Oak Park, IllinoisThis program is designed to provide vocational training, work experience and/or job placement services to in-school or out-of-school youth. The primary focus of the program is to assist low income and/or “at risk” youth to enter the workforce and obtain gainful employment. Local businesses and industries participate in the program as worksites, and participants work at these worksites to gain work experience during the summer break and throughout the year. Participants are expected to come on time, dress in business casual attire and commit to the successful completion of the 1-week or 4-week extended training program.

Our program focus on youth employment and on-the-job training for youths between the ages of 16 and 24 years. There is an optional vocational training component of the program designed to provide students with basic computer skills, in addition to the mandatory career preparation and essential life skills training. Participants in the program are paid a stipend during apprenticeship training or wages during internship training for six weeks or more and mentored on an ongoing bases.

Program Qualifications

  • Youth and young adults ages 16 to 24
  • Resident of Cook County
  • Meet program income guidelines
  • Requires a social security card, picture ID, and birth certificate (Participants without the required documents will not be served)
  • Successful completion of program application and testing

AACF Oak Park, IllinoisEntrepreneurship and Apprenticeship

The program is designed to assist participants to gain the practical skills and hands on experience needed to managed and run their own business or work in private equity. Our comprehensive program help students to develop skills in building their own businesses, raising capital and evaluating business opportunities to reach their desire program outcome.

The program depends on gifts and support to continue this nontraditional entrepreneurship and apprenticeship program offering. Through sponsorship and providing participant internship, you can help continue this program and give exposure to future entrepreneurs and venture capitalist.

Apprenticeship and Vocational Training Opportunities

Apprenticeship gives youths the opportunity to learn a unique trade. The following apprenticeship and training programs are offered among additional short term vocational training options are available to participants.

Certified Nursing Assistance (CNA) –  The ten week program is designed to provide students with the classroom and clinical skills necessary to perform basic health care services required of nursing assistance. Successful completer will be able to take the state competency exam for the CNA license.

Customer Service and Clerical – Participants are trained on customer service skills, secretarial, and receptionist function in an office environment. The program creates a pipeline of qualify entry level employees for local businesses with professionalism skills and computer base classroom instruction objectives and on the job training component.

Commercial Driving License (CDL) – Commercial driving training is available to participants.

Pharmacy Technician - Program participants can train and prepare for the state license and national certification with an 8 weeks externship with a national pharmacy chain. Upon successful completion of the training program, students are then hired on, transferred to other chain locations that are hiring for a permanent placement or apply with other pharmacy that have open positions.

Digital Manufacturing Technology Internship Program – This program is intended for manufacturing career minded youths to gain meaningful skills or obtain a job in the manufacturing. The multi-step program provides industry-based training and hands-on experience in digital design and digital manufacturing work environment.

Insurance Sales - Participants are provided with casualty and property insurance training and an internship at a local State Farm or independent insurance agent office.

Security Training – Participants may obtain one week unarmed and/or armed security training to obtain PERC. Participants who successfully complete training and pass the course are assisted with job placement in the security field.

On The Job Training (OJT)

The employer offer our qualified applicants the same entry-level wages and benefits as your other employees and we will reimburse you up to 50% of the applicant’s wages for the period of time necessary to complete their job training.

Customized Industry Specific Bridge Program

This work base training program is designed for youth that are currently in the YEEP program who have successfully completed an internship and did not obtain placement through internship. Qualify participants are placed in an industry specific temp to permanent position with our social enterprise CARA Staffing. Each applicant must be able to interview successfully with business in the industry of their choice. Discuss with your case manager to recommend this type of advanced placement for you.

Program Offerings

  • Learn nontraditional career skills and apprenticeship
  • Learn how to run and operate a business
  • Create a business and marketing plan
  • Career planning and preparation
  • Placement at local businesses
  • Business mentoring with local entrepreneurs

To participate as a local business partner or entrepreneur, call 708-848-1700 to speak with a job developer.

Attend the Virtual Orientation, held every Tuesday, to learn more and to join!

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