Workforce Development

Career Services

UCAN’s Career Services help families achieve economic and social self-sufficiency. Career Services’ goal is to offer participants the knowledge, skills and confidence to become successful in the workplace by inspiring, motivating and educating clients to pursue a career path, whether or not they are currently in school. Utilizing career interest inventories and workforce assessments, staff are able to assist participants in identifying their strengths and goals so they are able to make an informed decision while pursuing employment opportunities.

After participating in training, UCAN’s employment assistance helps match participants to a variety of employers in various communities. UCAN develops partnerships with key employers and service providers that help to make employment a reality.

Once participants are placed, our employment retention services help clients maintain their jobs. Ongoing activities and workshops continue to increase participants’ skills and knowledge so that they not only remain on the job, but increase their opportunities for growth and promotion.

For more information about Career Services, please contact us at (773) 588-0180 and ask for a Career Services staff person.

One Summer Chicago Programs

  • Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)
  • Summer Youth Employment Program Expansion (male specific)
  • One Summer Chicago Plus (OSC+) 
  • Green Corps

UCAN partners with City of Chicago Department of Family & Support Service’s (DFSS) to provide summer employment opportunities for youth ages, 16 -24. We place more than 300 youth in viable summer employment opportunities. Our summer programs provide youth with a subsidized paid work experience that allows them to gain valuable work experiences, build positive peer relationships and become effective leaders among their own peer group.

Youth are placed in multiple work environments across the City of Chicago and the northwest suburbs.  Selected employers provide an on-site learning experience for these youth. UCAN also places youth within our own program and administrative offices to offer additional opportunities.

In addition, youth follow an education/learning plan by spending four hours in classroom instruction and the remainder of their week on-site in their work environment. At the end of the summer, many youth are able to transition into permanent employment while others are eligible for UCAN’s year-round workforce program (UCAN Connects).

For more information, please contact

UCAN Connect, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

WIOA is a federal program funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. It is the main source of federal funds for workforce development activities throughout the nation. The program provides a year round employment program to “Opportunity Youth” ages 18 -24 who are disconnected from school or work. This program provides comprehensive services that result in out-of-school youth achieving academic and employment success.  UCAN Connects places youth in permanent employment, post-secondary education, certified and apprenticeship programs.

For more information, please contact

Summer Jobs and Beyond (SJ&B)

The Summer Jobs and Beyond program is centered on the belief that employment is the key to both short-term stability and long-term success for youth. The program focuses on preparing youth and connecting them to permanent, unsubsidized employment. Youth will begin their experience through participation in a summer employment opportunity and then participate in an extended, highly structured subsidized work experience that includes a training plan and intensive on-site communication between the agency staff, youth and employer. While the program focuses on immediate employment to address the most urgent needs of the youth, it also assists them in developing an understanding of the relationship between secondary and post-secondary credentials with improved employment and wage outcomes. The program will connect youth to high school, GED preparation, and/or occupational and employer-based training as needed, and provide a wide range of supportive services.  During the retention phase, youth will participate in additional career exploration events, social activities, advanced financial literacy/capability workshops, and group celebrations of accomplishments. Youth will also receive on-going individualized coaching and assistance with re-employment if needed.

For more information, please contact