Chicago Commons Employment Training Center

An Effective Practice


The Chicago Commons Employment Training Center (ETC) - part of Chicago Commons, a nonprofit organization that serves the West and South sides of Chicago - is a community-based welfare-to-work program providing services to women receiving TANF and their families, regardless of education level or other barriers to employment. ETC is nationally recognized as a leader in welfare-to-work training, adult education and family literacy. Services are provided through a multi-agency collaboration involving social services agencies, two community colleges, a health center, a national family services provider, and ETC, all with staff on-site. The program connects classroom instruction to vocational goals, instills a team spirit through life skills classes, provides child care, creates special curricula for learning disabled enrollees, and employs a rich array of support services.

Goal / Mission

The mission of Chicago Commons is to help individuals, families and communities to overcome poverty, discrimination and isolation.

Results / Accomplishments

A study by program staff found that, as of January 1998, 67% of participants were working or continuing their education with vocational training, college, or adult education 2½ years after entry into ETC.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Chicago Commons
3645 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60651-3934
(773) 638-5600
Economy / Employment
Economy / Government Assistance Programs
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
Chicago Commons
Finance Project
Date of publication
Feb 2004
Geographic Type
Chicago, IL
Target Audience