What is the CTA Apprenticeship Program?

The CTA Apprenticeship Program is a second chance 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 do you apply?

To apply to become a part of the CTA Apprenticeship Program, individuals should contact Westside Health Authority (773-664-0612) for application/intake. The application then is sent to one of the below agencies for follow up.

  • The Cara Program
  • Career Advancement Network
  • Haymarket Center
  • Phalanx Family Services
  • North Lawndale Employment Network
  • St. Leonard’s Ministries
  • Safer Foundation
  • Westside Health Authority (Note: WHA serves as an intake location and referring agency)

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 the 8 referring agencies.
  • Apprentice 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)

Are there any restrictions as to the offense committed?

Yes. Only individuals who have committed non-sexual, non-violent & non-domestic criminal offenses are accepted into the program.

How many apprentice positions are available?

Up to 265 apprentices may be employed by CTA in one calendar year. Start and end dates per apprentice are on a rolling basis.

How long does the program last?

Based on job performance and attendance, an apprentice may serve in an apprenticeship for 12 months or more. At the present time, all apprentice terms will end December 31, 2015 regardless of number of months served.

How much does the program pay?

Apprentices are paid at a rate of $9.50 per hour and may work up to 40 hours per week. Pay checks are issued on a bi-weekly pay period.

How is an apprentice 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 apprentice successfully completes an apprenticeship?

  • Apprentices in good standing receive a certificate of completion and letter of reference from CTA.
  • Providing there are no additional arrests or convictions on the apprentice's record, the apprentice 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:

  • Westside Health Authority - 773-664-0612
  • CTA Apprentice Hotline - 312-681-2293


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