CTU Foundation believes in ensuring all students have access to high quality and relevant Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in every Chicago Public School through Build Your Own, a Career Pathways Initiative for students, teachers, families, and the community.
By building partnerships with the skilled trades, school district, employers, and local representatives, Build Your Own addresses the workforce skill gap due to decades of disinvestment in CTE programs at neighborhood schools.
To address the shortage of CTE teachers and to ensure our students are career ready, the Instructors Apprenticeship is a professional development program to train and support CTE teachers in the development of their technical, cultural, and pedagogical competencies.
Build Your Own develops a system of programs and services as a model to close the racial wealth gap for families in underserved communities.
Chicagoland CareerPathways is a free and open website where young adults and their guides (parents, teachers, counselors, mentors) across Chicagoland can learn about free or low-cost training and certification programs that can lead to rewarding employment. The directory is searchable by career field, eligibility requirements, certification/credential, location, and more. The directory is a resource for adults finishing GED programs as well.
Who: The Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance with leadership from Origami Works Foundation and support from representatives of Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, Embarc, Chicago Jobs Council, and multiple stakeholders across the city built this resource for young adults and their guides who want low barrier options for advancing their careers. Featured in the directory are employer training programs, certification organizations, City Colleges of Chicago, and many other organizations that are invested in closing the skills gap in Chicagoland. A wide array of career fields are represented, including but not limited to: healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, culinary/hospitality, and transportation, distribution, and logistics.
Why: While there are many quality resources available to identify and access four-year college programs, there is currently not a database to discover options that do not require a four-year degree as an on-ramp. Chicagoland CareerPathways was built to address this gap and put the power of choice directly in the hands of young adults, their guides, and anyone looking to improve their career trajectories.
How: Chicagoland CareerPathways houses much of the information needed to understand the breadth of certification and training programs available in the Chicagoland area and how to access them. Young adults and their guides can use the directory as a starting point to plan a post-secondary path, whether that starting point comes after a traditional high school, an alternative high school, or an adult basic education (GED) program.