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Program matches Cook County job seekers with employers

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:03 p.m. CST

BERWYN – For 28 months Berwyn resident Sharita Jackson paid the bills with temporary jobs and unemployment checks. Then she got a part-time position at a recruitment firm that led to a full-time job – and a career.

Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (SCF) is helping to bridge the gap between employers who are looking for help and those in Cook County who are looking for a job.

Since September 2012, SCF has been working with employers to connect them with the unemployed. SCF also helps employers develop customized training programs to provide job applicants with the skills and certifications needed to fill specific open positions.

The services are provided at no cost to job seekers.

SCF President and CEO Marie Trzupek Lynch said SCF is a new, targeted approach to workforce development that takes the guesswork out of the numbers.Rather than training people in a skill and hoping they find a job, SCF focuses on identifying the available jobs and skills that employers require to meet current staffing needs.

SCF has placed job seekers in a variety of fields, including technical and administrative, customer service, computer programming and software testing. Available job opportunities include both full-time and part-time, entry- and mid-level positions. Businesses that SCF has partnered with thus far include Seaton Corp, Allscripts, Comcast, United Airlines and McDonald’s Corp.

Jackson was connected with a part-time position at recruitment firm PeopleScout. After a month on the job, she was promoted to a full-time position with PeopleScout’s parent company, Seaton Corp.

“I worked at a housing company that was hit hard by the recession and it was very difficult to find a job after I was laid off,” said Jackson. “This program has helped me so much and I am confident that this new role will be a jumping-off point for greater advancement down the road.”

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