On Unity Day, Wednesday, January 17, 2018,  Kennedy-King College (KKC) and Teamwork Englewood in association with Chicago Foundation for Women launched the inaugural “Clearing the Roadblocks” event.  The collaboration supports the Englewood Women’s Initiative (EWI) that creates pathways to economic security.  

EWI equips women with the tools, skills and resources to put them on a path to good-paying jobs (earning at least $40,000/year) in the manufacturing and construction trades or entrepreneurship  and long-term economic stability. The event boasted an attendance of 30 women, which included students and community members. Attendees hear from the program partners, as well as testimonials from women who have participated in the program and have benefitted from the services. 

Through EWI, a coalition of eight agencies will provide at least 50 women with industry-specific skills training for careers in construction and manufacturing, as well as resources for women entrepreneurs looking to start or strengthen their own business. In addition, the initiative introduces women to organizations that help address life issues that block or impede their potential success such as credit repair, domestic violence, re-entry or job preparedness support.

While service offerings are available to all women, priority will be given to women who live in Englewood’s 60621 or 60636 zip code areas and earn less than $40,000 a year.  

“Kennedy-King College has access to over 400 women that are eligible for the EWI  opportunity,” said  Eddie Phillips, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Kennedy-King College. “This collaboration allows us to optimize KKC education and resource services that will directly improve the quality of life for our service population.”

“Effective collaborations with Kennedy-King College are at the foundation of Englewood’s transformation success,” said Rosalind Moore, Program Director, Teamwork Englewood.  “As an anchor institution providing much needed education and job training options, KKC is a proven strong collaborator.”

 EWI is implemented through the resident-designed Englewood Quality of Life Plan, Jobs and Economic Development Task Force that is managed by Teamwork Englewood. The inaugural “Removing the Roadblocks” collaboration is introduced through the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s Center at Kennedy-King College.

 According to the Social Impact Research Center at Heartland Alliance, Greater Englewood is home to more than 10,000 families, more than two-thirds of which are headed by single mothers. 40 percent of all families are living below the federal poverty line; 85 percent of young children in Englewood live at or below 185% of the poverty level.

EWI partner agencies include:  ACCION Chicago, Chicago Women in Trades, Demoiselle 2 Femme, Family Rescue, Jane Addams Resource Corporation, Metropolitan Family Services, Teamwork Englewood and the Women’s Business Development Center. 

The event was featured on ABC 7 Chicago. You can check out coverage here.

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