Program Aimed At Training Black Women Deemed A Success

Step It Up America

By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
A job readiness and training program aimed at helping Black women has been called a successful model by some.
In Chicago since 2014, The Step It Up America and its partner organization Skills for Chicagoland’s Future have been training Black women who often times are college educated but underemployed or unemployed. The two organizations goal is to help black women prepare themselves for jobs in the booming Information Technology industry.
CEO and Founder, Marie Trzupek Lynch said an organization like Skills is desperately needed, especially for those living in communities such as Auburn Gresham and Englewood. The organization offers a 16-weeks intensive training course.
“..There is great talent in neighborhoods all across the city and that we’re serving those neighborhoods that were hardest hit by unemployment,” Lynch said. According to Lynch, there is a demand from employers in Chicago looking for great talent in high unemployment areas. At least 40 percent of the unemployed job seekers Skills placed in 2015 were from south and west side communities with high unemployment rates of more than 20 percent.
Communities like Austin, Chatham, Avalon Park, South Shore, Auburn Gresham and South Chicago. Once selected, the students participate in a paid, hands-on accelerated training program. Upon completion, they are given salaried jobs.“Our goal is to train and employ 5,000 women over the next five years.” For more information you can visit their website at

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