Meant as a second chance initiative, the CTA Apprenticeship Program is launched by the Chicago Transit Authority together with the various social service agencies throughout the city of Chicago. Since ex-convicts, in most cases, find it extremely difficult to get a job, these CTA jobs can be meaningful to them: it would help them get back on track, working, learning job skills and may even start a promising long-term career for these people.
What Types Of Job Will You Do?
Joining this program, ex-felons will be working closely with the Department of Family and Support Services. To be specific, they will be cleaning CTA public means of transportation such as buses and trains. The Chicago Transit Authority realizes that dirty rail cars have been quite an issue, so they decided to employ ex-felons to fill the gaps in cleaning cars during the rush periods. Besides the rail car apprentice program, there is also a bus cleaning program with similar job description. The program aims to help ex-felons who are in need of employment as well as provide CTA riders a cleaner environment. According to the CTA, 76 apprentices have been hired to full-time positions at the transit agency, which means this program offers a promising career for ex-felons.
How Do You Apply?
Any individual interested in becoming a part of the CTA Apprentice Program should contact Westside Health Authority for application or intake via the phone number 773-664-0612. The application will then be sent to one of the social service agencies working with CTA in this program for follow up.
There are several requirements in order to be eligible for this program. First, the job seeker must reside within the City of Chicago and has 18 years of age or older. Moreover, only ex-felons who have committed non-sexual, non-violent & non-domestic criminal offenses are accepted into the program. Before participating in the program, job seekers must also participate in 8-10 weeks of Job Readiness Training and obtain a certificate of completion from one of the social services agencies.
The number of apprentices employed by CTA is also limited: up to 256 of them may be employed in a calendar year. When there are new vacancies, CTA will select their apprentices by asking the referring agencies for their recommendation on applicants who successfully obtain the certificate of the Job Readiness Training.
What Should You Expect?
The Apprentice Program may last 12 months or more, depending on the job performance and attendance of the apprentice. Apprentices will be paid at a rate of $9.50 per hour and may work at most 40 hours per week. They will also be assigned with a supervisor who will review and score their overall performance and attendance. When an apprentice successfully completes an apprenticeship, he or she will receive a certificate of completion and letter of reference from CTA, and may even be encouraged to apply for CTA vacancies.
These jobs are one of the best ways for ex-convicts to get on with their lives, take care of their family and contribute to the society. For more information, you can contact the CTA Apprentice Hotline at 312-681-2293.