Earn-as-you-learn job training to launch on West Side

Participants will get weekly stipends as they complete a four-month program. After that, they are guaranteed a job interview for a position with Rush Health.

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An office inside the Jump Hire’s headquarters in East Garfield Park, where participants in a job training program will learn soft skills such as customer service.

An office inside the Jump Hire’s headquarters in East Garfield Park, where participants in a job training program will learn soft skills such as customer service.

Andrew Tyler/Provided

A new training and job-placement program is launching in East Garfield Park, with the goal of connecting West and South side residents to jobs in the medical supply chain.

It’s the debut effort from Jump Hire, a workforce development organization. The goal is to connect participants to jobs stocking medical supply warehouses, hospitals or tracking inventories for the Rush Health.

With the training comes a minimum $150 weekly stipend. Upon completion, participants are guaranteed an interview for a job that offers benefits and opportunities for advancement.

“We’re looking for folks from the South and West sides who are looking for career positions but didn’t necessarily go to college,” said Shelby Parchman, executive director of Jump Hire.

The training lasts four months, requiring a few hours of work per day, two to three days per week. It consists of two segments: training in soft skills, followed by hands-on training at Rush University Medical Center or at the hospital’s warehouse on the West Side.

The soft skills training includes customer service skills and how to use computer programs, such as Zoom.

The hard skills training will consist of shadowing actual supply chain workers and training in inventory software programs.

Around 25 people are expected to participate and applications are still being accepted on the Jump Hire website until training begins Monday.

The organization will offer a transportation stipend; free childcare for participants at the YMCA at 7 N. Homan; and mentorship. 

The training and other services are paid for by the Tullman Foundation and “won’t necessarily stop” once participants get a job, Parchman said.

“If you need help while you’re on the job, you let us know and we’ll help you out.”

Program graduates are expected to be able to work either stocking the hospital or managing inventories.

Jeremy Strong, vice president for supply chains at Rush, said he hopes the program will help with ongoing worker shortages.

“We’re overlooking the talent right in our backyard and this is about creating that pipeline to it,” he said.

Graduates will interview for jobs at the Near West Side hospital, the West Side warehouse or at the university’s hospital in Oak Park. 

The group plans to announce additional workforce development partnerships with other medical organizations on the West Side on Friday.

Michael Loria is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South and West sides.

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