Greater West Town Project
GWTP BACKGROUND AND MISSION
Greater West Town Community Development Project (GWTP) was founded in 1988. It is a not-for-profit community-based economic development initiative dedicated to expanding educational and economic opportunity for Chicago’s diverse, low-income community residents in Humboldt Park, East and West Garfield Park, Austin, and North Lawndale. GWTP achieves its mission by developing and providing model programs in comprehensive workforce development and education services, and related policy initiatives. GWTP links the education, training and employment needs of economically disadvantaged Chicagoans with local economic development efforts and the workforce needs of Chicago-area small and mid-sized employers. GWTP has developed and carries out a multi-faceted strategy to break the cycle of poverty in these economically disadvantaged communities. GWTP’s programs meet local employers’ urgent need for skilled, motivated workers to compete successfully in the global marketplace. GWTP’s programs and unique “Community Business Partnership” help to ensure the long-term stability and growth of community businesses as a primary source of employment for neighborhood residents, and positively impacts overall community economic development. Greater West Town’s continuum of services to community residents includes:
· Vocational Training Program: Hands-on skill training, career counseling and job placement in two high-growth economic sectors-Woodworking & Solid Surface Manufacturing and Shipping & Receiving (also referred to as “Transportation, Warehousing and Logistics”).
· West Town Academy alternative high school and Youth Employment programs: Pioneering initiatives that address Chicago’s longstanding and persistent High School dropout crisis and reclaim some of the community’s most at-risk youth. GWTP’s Youth Programs help young people earn their high school diploma, continue to post-secondary education and/or advanced technical training opportunities, and find permanent career-path employment.
· Adult Employment Services Program: Provides comprehensive skills assessment, career counseling, support services and direct job placement to unemployed people to enable them to rejoin the workforce and to ensure their success in the workplace.
· Community-Business Partnership: All of GWTP’s work is grounded in a unique Community-Business Partnership model which engages hundreds of local companies in hiring GWTP program participants and in designing, supporting and implementing its Vocational Training programs.