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Job Training Program Applications

The Career Pathways website is a robust search tool that combines Chicagoland job training, community college  and apprenticeship opportunities with relevant information for applying. Job training programs have a wide variety of application processes. Below is a quick sampling of alternative programs offered by colleges and private programs  and links to their website for applying.

A Sample of Job Training Programs

  • Quick Facts
    • These programs offer apprenticeship-style learning, where after successful completion of the first semester, students are supported to find entry-level auto technician jobs at local car dealerships so they can earn while they learn.
  • Links to Programs
    • The Nissan/Infiniti program at Moraine Valley Community College – 18-24 months; students who commit to working for Nissan/Infiniti for at least 2 years after graduation will receive $6,000 towards any student loans they have accumulated.
    • The Honda/Acura PACT Program at Triton College – 18-24 months; students from Chicago are able to receive “in-district” tuition for this program, a savings of over $600 on every class you take!
    • Automotive Technology at Truman – 18-24 months; Eligible students may qualify for up to $8000.00 in a WIOA grant which  can be used towards tuition, fees, books, and other support services.  If you would like to learn more about the Automotive Technology WIOA Program at Truman College or any other WIOA programs, please contact Suha Jarad, WIOA Caseworker, at or 773-907-4391.

Do you like airplanes or flying and want to be a part of the industry?


There are a lot of different ways to get involved and to launch an aviation-related career. Here are some great local programs for the various ways to work in the field:


Pilot – Due to the skill and experience required to fly airplanes there is no quick or “cheap” way to do it. You will have to complete a flight school training program and log hours in the air practicing. For example, in order to fly commercial jet liners (like for Southwest, United or Delta Airlines) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires you to have at least 1,500 hours of flight time prior to receiving your license. So it’s a real commitment, but if you stick to it, you will find yourself with a lot of opportunity and a reliable salary (avg. $86,000/yr.) – plus free travel!

Two pilot training programs we recommend are:

  1. United Aviate Academy – This is a private program run by United Airlines, so it does charge tuition, however, UA does have a partnership with Chase bank to provide financial aid to students from low income backgrounds, which includes scholarships and loans.
  2. Lewis University also has a highly regarded pilot training program, as well as other opportunities to get involved in the aviation industry. Click the link to request more information.

Flight Attendant – This is the person on the plane who welcomes passengers, who serves them food and beverages, and who has the responsibility of keeping all airline passengers and crew safe. They respond to any passenger emergencies that occur and make sure everyone follows FAA rules on board the plane.

The first step in becoming a flight attendant is to apply for a training program with an airline. Two good ones are:

  1. Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant program – View the link for information about the program and how to apply.
  2. American Airlines Flight Attendant training – Click the link and scroll down to find info about the application and interview process and how the training program works.

You don’t need experience, but Airlines require job applicants to have at least a high-school diploma or GED, and while a college degree is not required it does help to have some college courses completed, or to be currently enrolled in classes.

Flight attendants must also meet specific physical requirements (lift 50+ lbs, stand for long periods of time, etc.). You will also need to pass a background check and a pre-employment drug screening. Visible tattoos are typically not allowed unless they can be concealed with clothes or makeup.


Airplane maintenance – Check out the 10-week Aviation Mechanics certification program at Olive-Harvey College to learn the basics and to get started. With a hands-on approach to learning, students acquire essential tool usage, physics, maintenance operations, and emerging aviation maintenance technology skills. Upon completion of the basic certificate, students will be eligible to take the FAA General portion of the FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician certification exam.

  • Also, if you are a Junior in high school, check out Olive-Harvey’s basic certificate in Aviation Maintenance pre-college program. This is a great way to get college credits while in high school and to set yourself up to work at one of the major Chicagoland airports after HS graduation!

CCC job training programs offer Basic Certificates (usually one to two semester programs) and Advanced Certificates (usually two to three semester programs).  These are popular certifications that lead directly into a job and/or career field.

Links to Example Programs

The construction trades are a pathway to good jobs with wages that are on par with occupations that require a Bachelor’s degree but without years of college or the debt.  View this guidebook to learn more about a career pathway in the construction trades, including average salaries of various trades.  This glossary of terms is a useful resource to define terms associated with the construction trades.   Below are some programs to explore:

City Colleges of Chicago programs with union partnerships:

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs:

  • *FREE PROGRAM* ABC’s Community Builders is a construction training in a twelve (12) week pre-apprenticeship program with employment opportunities.
  • *FREE PROGRAM* Rebuilding Exchange connects people seeking careers in the building trades.  They offer a FREE workforce training program and receive a stipend to receive hands-on training and preparation help for Union Apprenticeship entry exam, and you can apply here.
  • *FREE PROGRAM* Chicago Women In Trades
    • Technical Opportunities Program
      • Our FREE 12-week, 180-hour training program will help you learn about all the different Trade options you could pursue as a career; like Carpenters, Electricians, Ironworkers, Pipefitters, Laborers, Plumbers, Painters, Sheet Metal Workers, Bricklayers, and much more!
    • Women in Welding Program
      • Welding is a universal skill that is in high demand. CWIT’s FREE Welding Program prepares women with the skills to build a career in manufacturing, welding & metalworking construction trades in a 12-week, 288-hour Training Program
  • Technology Center of DuPage provides training in welding, HVAC, and carpentry for 24 DuPage County high schools.
  • PAC Leaders -Construction, Apprenticeship, Union, and Trade Programs has partnered with Sustainable Options for Urban Living (SOUL) to provide a 6 month pre-apprentice training program in carpentry.  Apply here.
  • Chicago Urban League has a long history placing workers in construction trades, particularly with private developers, City of Chicago, and IDOT-supported programs. It currently operates 8-week pre-apprenticeship and referral and job placement programs. It maintains close union relationships.
  • Revolution Workshop -Construction and Woodworking is a community-based organization providing pre-apprentice training and entry level skills training in various trades including carpentry, electrician, and plumbing. It features a 10-12 week program located on Chicago’s West Side.
  • Illinois Department of Transportation Highway Construction Careers Training Program provides a three-month training program in 10 Illinois community colleges, including the Dawson Technical Institute at Kennedy King College.  Find registration information here.

The Chicago Apprentice Network is working to bridge the gap by raising awareness of apprenticeship and helping more businesses establish successful apprentice programs to offer more opportunities to more people in Chicagoland.  Since 2017, the Chicago Apprentice Network has grown from three founding companies – Accenture, Aon and Zurich North America – to more than 50 companies across multiple industries.  An apprenticeship is an earn and learn model with:

  • An intent of making the candidate job ready for a specific role
  • A combination of classroom learning and employer-site on the job training
  • A living wage paid to the apprentice
  • An opportunity to convert to full-time employment immediately upon successful completion of the program

Access points for apprenticeship vary. Some opportunities are offered through a community college or other education provider. Some employers accept applications directly, during specific periods or ongoing throughout the year. Other opportunities originate with nonprofits, which refer candidates to businesses offering apprenticeships.   Explore opportunities here.

Relativity Fellows is a program offered by software company Relativity, which tackles challenges in legal tech, data privacy, and security.  Fellows will play an important role in helping create an industry that reflects our communities. In return, participants of the Relativity Fellows program will receive:

  • Guaranteed full-time job upon successful completion
  • 5 months of in-depth learning, mentoring, and support
  • Health care coverage and competitive pay

All Fellows will receive in-depth training on the Relativity product, and some participants, depending on placement role, will pursue Relativity certification.  Learn more about the program here and complete this form if you are interested in becoming a Relativity Fellow!

An EMT, also known as an EMT-basic, cares for patients when there is an accident, injury or a medical emergency in someone’s home. They are trained to drive an ambulance and to administer treatment through the equipment and devices provided in an ambulance. An EMT has the skills to assess a patient’s condition and to manage respiratory, cardiac and trauma emergencies.

To become an EMT, students must have a high school diploma (or GED), become CPR certified, complete an EMT training course and pass the NREMT licensing exam.

Once you have your EMT-basic license, you can then take additional classes to become a EMT-P, or Paramedic, which receives more money and is a great way to move into a hospital-based medical career (nurse, doctor, etc.) or to join your local firefighting department.

We recommend any of these local programs to begin your EMT training.  You can also explore additional healthcare opportunities in the Chicagoland Healthcare Workforce Directory.

Elite Ambulance – A private EMT-training program which costs $700 total and takes 4 months to complete. 

  • New cohorts start every 4 months. Check the website for the next class.
  • They offer flexible payment plans and provide all other equipment free-of-charge. 
  • At the end of the program Elite supports its students to pass the NREMT licensing exam, and once licensed they provide immediate opportunities for students to work shifts on their ambulance fleet. 
  • For students who want to “stack” their EMT license by going back to school for their Paramedic’s license, Elite offers a tuition benefit at Malcolm X College if the student agrees to work for Elite as a Paramedic for two years.

Superior Ambulance – A private EMT-training program which costs $800 but takes 3 months to complete.

  • The next Chicago cohort starts April 18, 2022
  • Class Information: Course is 12 weeks long, and meets Mondays Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at our Chicago station located at 3301 N Knox, Chicago, IL.
  • Superior also offers flexible payment plans and provide all other equipment free-of-charge. 
  • At the end of the program Elite supports its students to pass the NREMT licensing exam, and once licensed they provide immediate opportunities for students to work shifts on their ambulance fleet. 

EMT Training at Malcolm X – Public City Colleges of Chicago program, eligible for financial aid to help pay training tuition.

  • Interested students follow the same application and enrollment steps for this program like they would for any City College program, meaning they do need to take the placement test, attend orientation, meet with a City College advisor, etc.
  • If students meet the required placement test scores, the EMT training program can be completed in 1 semester (4 months). If they do not meet the needed test scores, they will need to take the required Math or English courses first.
  • Malcolm X does not guarantee employment immediately after passing the NREMT exam like Elite Ambulance and Superior Ambulance, but they will help you find work with one of their partner medical centers.
  • Accelerate U
    • Accelerate U at National Louis University offers affordable, rapid training experiences that come with college credit, industry credentials and a path to a full-time job immediately. It’s “job-first” higher education.Accelerate U training is designed to be affordable. Learners who are eligible for full Pell (federal financial aid) & MAP (Illinois financial aid) will pay $0 out of pocket. NIU’s financial aid team is ready to help make Accelerate U work for you. Each training pathway comes with up to 30 college credits that will apply in full towards a National Louis University degree. Accelerate U learners can “stack” their credits while expanding their skills, building their professional network, and earning money in a full-time job.Some of the programs offered are the following:

      Learn more about the program here. You can request info or attend a virtual session here.

  • Chicago Center for Arts and Technology (CHICAT)
    • Locally-based job training provider offering FREE 6-9 month certification programs in Food Lab Tech, Health Information Tech and Advanced Manufacturing. 
    • Post-certification, CHICAT supports the student to get their first full-time job in the career field related to the certification
    • There is an application on the website and programs start up at least twice-a-year.
  • Chicago Urban League
    • Primarily serves students of color to complete FREE job training programs through their Workforce Development Center.  
    • The Urban League offers high quality certification programs in advanced manufacturing, supply chain management, hospitality, cyber security, construction and the fast-growing solar energy field. 
    • Post-program the Urban League works with local hiring partners to help students quickly find jobs in their career fields. 
    • Programs start up at least twice-a-year. For more information on General Workforce Development Programs, contact Andrew Wells, Director of Workforce Development, at 
  • Instituto del Progreso Latino
    • Primarily serves students from the Hispanic community, but also welcomes students from other minority groups. 
    • Instituto offers FREE certification programs in nursing, CNC machinery and retail sales. 
    • Programs generally run 4-6 months in length, with training classes occurring 4 days/wk, with daytime or evening class offerings. 
    • Post-program Instituto works with local partners to help students find jobs in their career fields right away.
    • It is recommended that all interested students attend a virtual orientation session to learn more.
  • Job Corps – National Job Training Program
    • Job Corps is sponsored by the federal government and recommends that participants live on-campus in their modern living facilities. 
    • The program is entirely free and participants are paid a small stipend. 
    • Job Corps provides regular meals, events, social activities and sports facilities for its students. 
    • Students focus on one of dozens of job training programs including culinary arts, plumbing, cyber security, hospitality, automotive technology and many more. 
    • Each Job Corps center offers different programs, so you may have to go to a facility out-of-town to find the career pathway you want. 
    • At the end of the program, Job Corps works with local hiring partners to help participants land that first job. 
    • Check out the Chicago Job Corps page for the list of programs offered in this city.
    • Ready to apply? Fill out this enrollment interest form.
  •  Skills for Chicagoland’s Future
      • Skills pairs City Colleges of Chicago programs with large, corporate job providers to offer FREE training programs which include both a certification process and a paid job. 
      • Current partners include Walgreens, Freedman Seating, McDonalds, CDW, AT&T, Hyatt hotels, Accretive Health and Rush University Medical Center. 
      • Training programs run for a year or more, but participants are working for the partner company for the majority of their program. 
      • View the webpage link for more information about program offerings, the current schedule (with COVID-19 considerations) and how to apply.
  •  YearUp
    • Based in downtown Chicago, YearUp provides a unique job training model, which offers 6-months of FREE classroom learning in a specific field and then places students into a 6-month internship with a major Chicago company in that field. 
    • Students are paid a stipend throughout the program. 
    • YearUp is currently offering job training in I.T., financial operations, sales & customer support, business operations, and software development. 
    • YearUp positions are highly sought after due to the successful track record of post-program job placement, therefore there is an application and interview process students should take seriously and prepare for. 
    • View this link for the application steps and sign-up for an information session.

Jane Addams Resource Corporation provide FREE job training and job placement services that can help you find employment in the manufacturing sector with skills in Computer Numerical Control (CNC), welding, and more.  Anyone enrolled in our programs has free access to math, reading, and computer tutors, as well as financial coaching and public benefits screening.

Coding “bootcamp” programs offer online training in a tech field in a short amount of time.  These generally operate as for-profit businesses, so it’s advised that you do your research to evaluate whether or not a program is a good fit, such as speaking to alumni or current students.  Several programs offer payment options that allow you to defer payment until you secure a job or tuition refund guarantees if you do not secure a job after graduation.  It’s important to take a look at the job placement support and results and any fine print for these programs.  Here are some examples:


  • Full-time and part-time options
  • Courses in software engineering, data science, data analytics, UX/UI design, technical project management, and digital marketing.
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Tuition refund if not hired within 6 months of graduating

Flatiron School

  • Full-time or flexible (learn at your own pace) programs
  • Programs in software engineering, data science, cybersecurity, and product design
  • Scholarships available

Code Elevate Summer Program

  • Code Elevate is a young women of color summer introductory front-end web development bootcamp. Students will develop programming skills using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. The program will run for 4 weeks from Monday-Thursday from 9am-3pm beginning July 11 – August 4, 2022. The program will be in-person at Oakton Community College, Skokie Campus. Lunch will be provided.
  • The summer immersion program is an introductory computer science course for girls in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Class is Limited to 20 participants to assure optimal learning experience.

Digital Scholars is a FREE intensive, five-week-long program (June 27, 2022 – August 2, 2022) for high school students and incoming freshman and current students at UIC or City Colleges.  Applications for Summer 2022 will be accepted beginning October 1st.

The program is intentional about serving CPS and Chicago-area students, first-generation, and students of color. The program is free. Support is also provided for those in need of a device for e-learning.  Apply here.

In order to qualify for the Digital Scholars summer program students must:

  • Submit a completed application, including academic transcripts and one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor or activity leader.
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Demonstrate an interest in Computer Science and related fields (e.g., computer engineering, computer and data science, entrepreneurship, etc.).
  • Express interest in attending the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and apply for admission to UIC for Fall 2023.
  • Eligible for high school sophomores to graduating Seniors.
    • (Graduating seniors must be entering UIC, an Illinois Community College, or City Colleges of Chicago in Fall 2022)
  • Be able to work both independently and in groups.
  • Express interest in a future career in the Chicago Tech community.

Students accepted into the program must attend a mandatory online orientation meeting with a parent or guardian. The orientation will introduce students to the UIC – DPI Digital Scholars program, expectations, offerings and more.

TechReady Illinois was  launched to help unemployed, furloughed and underutilized Illinoisans compete for these jobs of the future by providing training courses for the high-demand fields of computer science, data and engineering programs.

Courses are offered in one of four tracks, with opportunities to obtain a certificate upon completion. These include:

  • Data and analytics
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Software development

Participating institutions include the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois System, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and City Colleges of Chicago. To participate, residents complete virtual courses, some conducted by faculty from participating academic institutions. Others are run by non-profit partners, including National Able’s IT Career Lab and i.c.stars. Many of these courses lead to industry-recognized certificates.  Learn more here.

The Comp-U-Dopt IT Pathways Program is a rigorous, immersive learning experience that introduces participants to knowledge and skills in Information Technology and helps them explore careers in IT. The program combines curriculum from Cisco Networking Academy and Comp-U-Dopt to equip students with essential IT technical knowledge and skills, as well as career readiness competencies. Students will receive support from a Cisco-certified trainer to prepare for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals exam, an entry-level computer industry certification.  To register, click here.

At Seneca Foundation, we believe you shouldn’t have to wait 4+ years to start your career in tech or go into debt to pursue your dreams. Our paid software development apprenticeship is available to you now and it can be completed in 12 months!  This is a full-time, virtual apprenticeship opportunity and we will provide coding training for 6 hours a day (10am-4pm, Mon-Fri), with real-world software development experience from our corporate training partners, and the flexibility to take related college courses in the evenings.  Seneca also believes in giving you the tools you need to succeed both during and after your apprenticeship; therefore, all apprentices will receive a laptop from Seneca to complete their remote work, plus professional development training, college application assistance and college tuition aid.

All this while also getting paid an apprenticeship wage of $18/hr!


*One-on-one mentorship from a technology professional

*College advising and professional development workshops

*College tuition assistance to pursue a degree post-apprenticeship

*Potential opportunity for continued employment with Seneca Foundation’s  local and national technology partner companies upon successful completion of your apprenticeship

To qualify, you must be:

*A 2021 or 2022 high school graduate
*Identify as Black and/or Latinx
*Able to legally work in the US, including students with DACA status
*Willing to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in a related field post-apprenticeship

What You Should Know About Job Training Programs

Job training programs are not easy. They usually require students to be on-time (often before 9am) on the job site, in uniform, with any relevant tools and equipment, ready to learn! They are setting you up for success in a career field that is going to eventually make you good money and provide you opportunities for professional growth, so they expect that you are going to take the opportunity very seriously. It is recommended that students applying for job training programs follow these key guidelines:

Do your research before you apply:

  • Set up an appointment with the job training provider (Skills, CHICAT, YearUp, etc.) to learn more about the careers, or 
  • View information about the different opportunities at 

Clear your schedule:

  • In addition to the hours you are going to be at the facility learning and training there is often homework or the opportunity to take on additional practice hours on weekends (especially in the automotive, construction and culinary fields). 
  • We strongly suggest that you protect your time and limit other commitments for the short and intense job training period. 

Determine how you will pay:

  • Students completing job training programs may find they need additional funds.
    • Discuss your situation with mentors or teachers at your job training program.  Teachers often have inside knowledge about local resources for students that can help them get by for the period of time they are in the job training program. 
  • Only if absolutely necessary should a student consider borrowing money to stay in their job training program.  Here is a safe option:
    • Sallie Mae offers the Career Training Smart Option Loan which is designed to fit the needs of students enrolled in a technical school or vocational college. The program offers low interest rates, flexible repayment options and rewards for on time payments. 

While this document provided by the IBEW specifically focuses on construction and electrical apprentices, the advice here can be applied to anyone in a job training program.

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