Mayor Emanuel, Congressman Rush and President Carter Announce $750K FTA Workforce Development Grant to CTA

August 26, 2015

Funds Will Be Used to Continue CTA’s Second Chance Diesel Mechanic Training Program

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Bobby Rush and CTA President Dorval Carter today announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $750,000 to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to continue its Diesel Mechanics Training Program—part of CTA’s successful Second Chance Program. The Second Chance Program provides valuable job skills and career opportunities to Chicago residents who often face challenges re-entering the workforce.

Last March, CTA officials announced that it would offer diesel mechanic training to program participants, which include nonviolent ex-offenders, victims of abuse and others who face barriers to employment. The program teaches a career skill that will see significant demand here in Chicago and across the country over the next decade.

“I am proud of the success of the CTA’s Second Chance program in giving many Chicago residents the opportunity to learn new skills and have another shot at a good-paying job. With the help of these new federal resources, we can continue to give even more of our residents a second chance at success,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I want to thank Congressman Rush and all of our federal partners for supporting and strengthening the

Second Chance program so we can keep more jobs in our neighborhoods and help more of our residents stay on the right path for a successful future.”

Under Mayor Emanuel, the Second Chance program has quadrupled in size, becoming one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. The program has grown to 265 positions for bus and rail car servicers who clean and detail the CTA’s more than 1,200 rail cars and nearly 1,800 buses, as well as rail station platforms and bus and rail yards. 

“Workforce development grants are a vital and important way for the federal government to support and recognize successful programs that are created at the local level. CTA’s Second Chance Program is a shining example of how federal dollars can directly translate into better lives for citizens—long-term—by investing in them and giving them the tools to succeed. I applaud the work that Mayor Emanuel and President Carter are doing and urge them to continue helping to improve lives, one life at a time,” said U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush.

Since May 2011, more than 500 have participated in the program. One hundred have been hired by CTA, and dozens more have moved on to other jobs, thanks to the experience they received in the Second Chance program.  Of the 100 hired by CTA, seven have moved up to manager-level positions.

 “The opportunities created by CTA’s Second Chance program can help make positive changes in the lives of those who truly need a helping hand,” said Carter. “It is a win-win situation for CTA and for candidates who commit to being successful, as they receive training that can help keep them working at CTA or elsewhere, and we benefit from a well-trained, committed workforce.”

More information about the Second Chance Program is available on the CTA website: http://www.transitchicago.com/business/apprenticeshipprog.aspx

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