City Council ushers in new job training program

Julia Jacobs, City Editor

Aldermen on Monday approved a new job training program for at-risk Evanston residents launching next week.

City Council unanimously agreed to allocate $24,000 lasting until the end of this year for the Evanston Small Business Workforce Development Program to train Evanston residents in fields such as sales, health care and food service. At-risk individuals targeted for the program include ex-offenders and those without stable housing or who are not on a traditional career path, Paul Zalmezak, an economic development official, told The Daily earlier this month.

The city will provide reimbursements to pay for part of the participant’s wages, amounting to $3,000 per employee. Small businesses in the city are eligible for one round of funding per year at a maximum of five participants.

After residents apply to participate in the program, which will launch Nov. 2, the city will verify that they live in Evanston and are not involved in any other job training programs.

Porschia Davis, assistant manager of the city’s Youth and Young Adult program, said the new job training program would expand the number of small businesses eligible to partner with the city. While young program participants are limited from working at businesses that require the employee to handle money or operate machinery, older participants are legally allowed to work in a wider range of fields, Davis said.

“One of the things we want to accomplish with all of our job programs is to broaden the options and opportunities available,” Ald. Donald Wilson (4th) told The Daily earlier this month. “Not just to have one type of job available or one type of training available.”

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