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Divvy to partner with local organizations for job-training program

The program will teach participants bicycle mechanics and other skills needed to enter the workforce.

Divvy bikes.
Divvy bikes.
Rahul Parikh/Sun-Times

Divvy, a bike-sharing company operated by Lyft, will partner with three Chicago organizations to provide new job opportunities in the city.

The company announced Tuesday it will introduce a bike-mechanic training program in partnership with West Town Bikes, Blackstone Bicycle Works and SAFER Foundation.

The program aims to create “an employment pipeline” that recruits and trains students and young Chicagoans as future Divvy mechanics, according to the program’s proposal.

The training program will teach between eight and 12 participants advanced bicycle mechanics and shop management, as well as resume writing, personal finance, business planning and entrepreneurship.

Program graduates are guaranteed an opportunity to interview for bike-mechanic positions at Divvy and will be prioritized for hiring with the goal of creating 200 new jobs to Chicago over the next three years.

Alex Wilson, the executive director of West Town Bikes, said this partnership with Divvy builds on West Town Bikes’ 15 years of work surrounding youth workforce development.

West Town Bikes has offered apprenticeships for young people in bicycle mechanics and repair, safe cycling and personal and professional development for over 10 years, Wilson said.

Wilson said many of West Town Bikes’ trainees have gone on to work for Divvy or other bike shops around the city, but said he is happy that Divvy is recognizing the work they are doing by formally partnering.

“[The partnership] is really fulfilling the mission of West Town Bikes,” Wilson said. “West Town Bikes uses bikes as a tool to help build community.”