What is the CTA Second Chance Program?

The CTA Second Chance Program is an initiative offered in conjunction with the City of Chicago and social service agencies throughout the city. Working closely with the Department of Family and Support Services, hard-to-place individuals are given an opportunity to obtain full-time employment and training which may enable a start of a long-term, meaningful career.

How to apply

Jobseekers need to actively participate in one of the 13 designated agencies' work readiness programs.  The CTA Second Chance program is in regular communication with the agencies listed below.  The agencies' top participants are referred to CTA for the bus servicer and rail car servicer Second Chance positions. 

The Cara Program
237 S. Desplaines
Chicago, IL 60661
Center for Changing Lives
1955 N. Saint Louis Ave.
#101 (First Floor)
Chicago, IL 60647-2049
Goodwill Industries of Metropolitan Chicago
6054 S. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60636
Haymarket Center Family Enrichment Center
McDermott Center
120 North Sangamon Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Howard Area Community Center,
Employment Resource Center
7637 N. Paulina
Chicago, IL 60626
Contact: Charles Hardwick, Employment Manager
Inner Voice
212 W. Van Buren St., 3rd flr. 
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Contact:  Wesley Perry, Job Developer
North Lawndale Employment Network
U-Turn Permitted Job Readiness Training
3726 W. Flournoy
Chicago, IL 60624
Phalanx Family Services
1201 W. 115th Street
Chicago, IL 60643
Please contact Mrs. T. Harper for additional information.
A Safe Haven Foundation
2750 West Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608
Safer Foundation
571 W Jackson
Chicago, IL 60661
Ph:  312-922-2200
St. Leonard's Ministries
The Michael Barlow Center of St. Leonard's Ministries
2120 W. Warren Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60612
St. Sabina Employment Resource Center
(an outreach arm of St. Sabina Church)  
1210 W. 78th Place
Chicago, IL 60620
773-783-3786 – Fax
Westside Health Authority
Community Re-Entry & Employment Center
5816 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60651
773-786-0226, x2100

What are the eligibility requirements and qualifications?

  • Job seekers interested in participating must:
    • Reside within the City of Chicago
    • Be 18 years or older
    • Participate in 8-10 weeks of Job Readiness Training and obtain a certificate of completion from one of the13 referring agencies.
  • Second Chance participants that are referred are required to be released from the following:
    • House arrest (wearing metal band/bracelet)
    • Drug/alcohol program (i.e. Methadone treatment)
    • Work release center

How many Second Chance positions are available?

Up to 265 Second Chance participants may be employed by CTA in one calendar year. Start and end dates per Second Chance participant are on a rolling basis.

How long does the program last?

Based on job performance and attendance, a participant may serve for 12 months or more. 

How much does the program pay?

Participants are paid at a rate of $10.00 per hour and may work up to 40 hours per week. Pay checks are issued on a bi-weekly pay period.

How is a participant selected?

As positions become available, CTA contacts the referring agencies. Referring agencies recommend applicants who they have screened and who have successfully completed the job readiness program.

Once the referring agency recommends an applicant, what happens?

  • Applicants are fingerprinted for background processing.
  • Applicants complete a medical review.
  • If the applicant passes background and medical what are the next steps?
    • Orientation/pre-hire
      • Applicants attend a new employee orientation thoroughly outlining program guidelines, eligibility requirements, job functions, placements, and Union participation.
      • Completion of all hiring documentation and application inserts
    • Training
      • Participants are required to complete a (paid) safety training prior to reporting to assigned work location.

Once in the program, what are the expectations?

  • 30-day reviews are conducted throughout the duration by immediate supervisors within their assigned work location
    • The overall performance and attendance/tardiness of each apprentice is scored.
  • Supervisors and apprentices are required to review the scoring of the evaluations, solicit feedback and address any questions or concerns.
  • Agencies provide individual case management on each apprentice and maintain periodic contact.

What happens when the participant successfully completes the program?

  • Participants in good standing receive a certificate of completion and letter of reference from CTA.
  • Providing there are no additional arrests or convictions on the participant's record, the Second Chance program participant is encouraged to apply for CTA vacancies.

Who can you call if you have questions?

If you still have questions about this program, you can contact the CTA Second Chance Hotline - 312-681-2293.


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