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Creating Real Opportunities through Quality Employment

Cara develops employment opportunities that meet the personal, financial, and professional needs of our students (program participants) and that have opportunities for advancement.  Rather than finding 'just any job' for our students, Cara commits to working with companies that offer a competitive combination of wages and benefits.  We have formal standards in place for evaluating what qualifies as a 'quality job' (where quality is measured by exceeding a certain number of guaranteed hours worked, wage, availability of benefits  and permanency in the position). As a result, our employed students' current average starting wage is $11.09/ hour at an average of 39 hours/ week. 

We partner with companies that find real value in working with Cara to fill their entry-level positions.  Companies typically tell us that Cara students are, on the whole, more motivated and more prepared for their entry-level positions than are non-Cara candidates.  

Every student that participates in Cara is guaranteed a quality, permanent job, provided that they complete the necessary trainings, actively participate in their job search and act professionally.  Top employers in 2016 have included The Habitat Company, ABM Janitorial Services, Chicago Transit Authority, Catholic Charities and Eataly Chicago.  And, top industries this past year have included facilities management, manufacturing, transportation, non-profit and health care.   

The Impact

Remain Employed

in initial job placement at one year of employment

learn more

Our Partner Programs

  • Clean Slate
  • TCP Staffing

Our Supporters and Employers

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Kellogg Company
  • Lurie Children's Hospital
  • Mariano's
  • Rebuilding Exchange
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Sodexo
  • Salvation Army
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Levy Restaurants
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Rivers Casino
  • Fitness Formula Clubs
  • Eataly Chicago
  • Housing Authority of Cook County
  • Catholic Charities
  • Harvard Maintenance Inc
  • Gotham Greens
  • Engineered Glass Products
  • The Habitat Company
  • Union League Club
  • Palmer House Hilton
  • Hilton Chicago O'Hare
  • Loretto Hospital
  • Resurrection Healthcare
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hyatt Regency O'Hare
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick
  • Standard Parking
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Pierce and Associates
  • Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • Center For Working Families
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Cleanslate
  • ABM Janitorial Services
  • Allied Barton Security Services
  • ARAMARK
  • Bank of America
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