We provide services to reintegrate homeless veterans into the labor force by placing them into family-sustaining employment and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homelessness.
The Business Center works to develop new skill sets with veterans, returning citizens and dislocated workers who are re-starting their job search in selected industries. We transition many of our clients to employers who have negotiated a temporary to permanent work arrangement (TJ - Transitional Jobs). This is essential for our client population as advocacy from training to placement guarantees a higher level of sustained work periods.
Collectively, our Workforce Team has employer relationships with more than 100 companies across 15 industries throughout the city of Chicago and in Cook Suburban areas.
Coaching, Mentoring & Individual Career Tutoring
Our Business Service Representatives are passionate about their work and their clients. We provide individual coaching and tutoring for pre-employment testing. We also serve as mentor to many of the individuals that we serve.
We hosts hiring events with employers whom are ready to hire our “work ready” clients on the spot.
We believe in creating and delivering H.O.P.E.
Under thesupervision of the Director of Workforce Development and BusinessOperations, the Business Service Representative (BSR) develops andprovides a range of employment related services primarily to clientsin the with the goals of job placement, job retention and increasedhousehold income for increased self-sufficiency.Learn MoreApply
Renita White is the Founding and Executive Director for Of Color, Inc. She was born and raised in the Gresham/Auburn community on the south-side of Chicago. Her family owned businesses in the Englewood community, so she has a vested interest in its residents and their neighboring resident’s success. Ms. White has 35+ years of experience as an administrator of programs working in large social service organizations throughout Chicago.
She brings more than 35 years of social services experience and holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Ms. White also holds a professional license in social work from the State of Illinois. She has developed, implemented, and provided oversight for contracts that delivered child welfare, older adult, youth development, counseling, community workforce development and housing programs ranging from $550k – 3.8 million dollars annually. Miss White is also a certified national peer reviewer through the Council on Accreditation and have served on the Boards of national and local organizations.
Ms. Ladon Brumfield has a wide range of experience facilitating training programs for youth and adults. She was Executive Director for Girls Rule; a youth empowerment program that helped young girls and boys to embrace and pursue their career dreams. She has fifteen plus years of experience facilitating youth and employment programs through contracts with Chicago Public Schools, the Department of Labor, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Mayor's One Summer Chicago Programs.
Miss Brumfield works with more than 100 employers in various industries throughout Chicago and its adjoining suburbs. She is currently pursuing an enhanced degree in Business Management at DePaul University.
Miss Keisha Norris was raised in the Gresham/Auburn community and more than ten years of experience facilitating Community Youth Employment Programs, WIOA specific programs and employment services with adults in a variety of areas (homeless, veterans, dislocated worker, etc.).
Miss Norris also has a significant amount of experience working with housing programs with the Chicago Housing Authority throughout the city of Chicago and the Department of Children and family Services which focuses on youth in care. She holds a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from Spertus Institiute.
Melina Higbee, currently serves as the Strategic Programs Administrator for UCC Church Building & Loan Fund. Melina has a key role in overseeing and implementing strategic programs that focus on the transformation of neighborhood, community and region, working with churches and faith organizations, local community development corporations, philanthropists, investors, government officials, planners, developers, civic groups and neighborhood leaders. She has worked for the United Church of Christ National Setting for 14 years and began her service with Wider Church Ministries where she led the successful launch of WCM’s Haystack Society – an endowment to support mission practices in global settings.
In 2014, Ms. Higbee began working in the department of Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship (OPS) as the Coordinator for Donor Relations. In this position, she helped to coordinate various components of the UCC’s fundraising strategies, launched a centralized acknowledgment process to help the United Church of Christ be more responsive to donors, and has developed thoughtful strategies for donor engagement. Melina Higbee was promoted to Associate Director, Campaigns, Appeals and Special in the Office of OPS in 2016. In this position her responsibilities included overseeing the coordination and implementation of the annual fund. As the associate director, Melina planned the first bi-annual Stepping Into Stewardship Conference and recently coordinated the making of the new OCWM video.