We are Recruiting! Apply now for our next Shipping and
Receiving or Woodworking and Solid Surface Manufacturing Class. For
more information call (312) 563-9028
Shipping and Receiving Orientations are
held Wednesdays @ 8:45 a.m.
Woodworking Orientations are held Tuesdays
Call to make an appointment
Classes start soon! Need Employment Assistance?
Call (312) 432-1300 for more information
on our Employment Assistance and Job Readiness Training ProgramComing SoonGWTP Board Meeting:
The next Greater West Town Community Development Project Board of
Directors meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at 500 N Sacramento
Link to Calendar
Vocational Training: Woodworking Cycle 67 Class scheduled to start April 10, 2017
Shipping & Receiving Cycle 60 Class scheduled to start February 13, 2017
Employment Unit: To schedule an intake, please call (312)
February 16 - Wood Product Manufacturing Class 65
Congratulations to all the grads! Click below for a complete
list of our partners and funders
Message from the Executive Director...
Friend of Greater West Town Project,
I want to let you know that we have launched our
long-planned Executive Director leadership transition.
After nearly 30 years as Executive Director, I will be
retiring from this role later this year.
Please be assured that with the support of our Board and
Senior Staff, the transition to new leadership will be
smooth, and that GWTP's programs will continue to serve our
communities with the same high standards.
Thank you for supporting us over the years. It has been a
great joy and honor to work with you and so many friends,
partners, and community leaders in the founding and
operation of Greater West Town Project.
If you would like to refer a candidate for the position see
GWTP Careers or contact the
Larcgroup at email@example.com Meanwhile... the work goes on,
... we recently had the
opportunity to present Greater West Town's strategies and
history of combating poverty through community based job
training at a U. S. House of Representatives Ways and Means
Subcommittee on Human Resources hearing.
All in all, I think we represented pretty well..... It gets
especially interesting during Q & A.
Best wishes to you and all our colleagues working to bring
economic opportunity and social justice to our communities.
Greater West Town Appears before U.S. House
Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources:
Testimony Advocates for Combating Urban
Poverty Through Job Training
The Geography of Poverty
On February 15, 2017, GWTP Executive
Director, William Leavy, and Linda Thomas, Director of Client Services,
testified before the U.S. House Ways and
Means' Subcommittee on Human Resources to deepen public understanding of
the extent and impact of poverty in urban communities and to share the
agency's experience using community-based job training to
combat poverty at the individual and
For full version click
HERE For highlights
West Town Academy still has limited seats for
the 2nd semester of the
2016-2017 school year! Join a proud community of more than 1,200
graduates apply today!
ON THE WEST SIDE, AN OASIS OF EMPLOYMENT The Greater West Town Community Development
Project has been attracting job-seekers for more than 25 years
Reprinted/Posted with permission from
Students enrolled in GWTCDP’s Woodworking
Program watch their Instructor [Doug Rappe] perform a task. | Wendell
By Wendell Hutson Contributing Reporter (Archived from Thursday, September 10th, 2015
Throughout its 26-year history, the nonprofit
Greater West Town Community Development Project (GWTCDP) has provided
free programs to anyone needing help getting ahead in life, according to
the organization's officials. But don't just take their word for it.
"Listen to our participants and you be the
judge," said the organization's founder and executive director Bill
Adonis Cbounes, 20, lives in the Auburn
Gresham neighborhood on the South Side, but traveled Wednesday to GWTP,
500 N Sacramento Blvd, to apply for its 12-week Shipping and Receiving
"The reason why I decided to apply is because
I have two friends who went through the program and now they have stable
jobs. I have been to Jobs Corps, but it did not help me get a job," said
Cbounes. "The jobs I had before were not consistent. At this point I
want stable employment after I finish school."
Cbounes attends Kennedy-King College in the
Englewood neighborhood and ultimately hopes to become a professional
singer or music manager.
"If I don't make it as a rapper I want to at
least be in the music industry doing something," added Cbounes, whose
stage name is "Rocky."
Dionne Hubbard's area of focus is management.
"I work as a bus boy at a restaurant for the
time being but that's not where I plan on staying forever," said the
28-year-old Austin resident. "I would be disappointed if I am not
accepted into the program here, because I have heard good things about
it and I know it could help me get to where I want to go."
In August, Nancy Coleman and Edward Chatman
both graduated from the program and now volunteer as program recruiters
for the organization.
After going unemployed for two years,
Coleman, a 51-year-old West Garfield Park resident, said she decided to
enroll in the program to get some added job skills.
"Thanks to the [shipping and receiving]
program, I am a certified forklift driver and I received the same
training UPS and FedEx employees got when they were hired," said
Chatman said he moved to Chicago from
Wisconsin to assist his mother, who was ill and is also a graduate of
the Woodwork program at GWTP.
"My mom (Vicky Chatman) graduated from the
program in 2004 and she suggested I apply for the program, after seeing
me struggle to find a job," recalled Chatman, a 28-year-old North
Lawndale resident. "I owe a lot to this program, because it provided me
with valuable job skills that I know will carry me far in life."
But besides the woodwork and shipping and
receiving programs, GWTP also runs West Town Academy, an alternative
high school for young adults between 17 and 21 years old. I n the last
two years 190 students graduated and received their high school
diplomas, according to Kent Nolen, the school's director.
One student, Desmond Ewing, 19, said he
dropped out of high school when he was 17 and did so because he was on
the verge of getting kicked out for poor attendance. The North Lawndale
resident said he will be graduating from West Town in 2016 and plans to
go to barber college.
"I didn't feel I was learning anything anyway
at my old high school. I was going to school every day to hang with my
friends," said Ewing. "A year later I realized I made a mistake. That's
when I decided to get back into school." Another student, Justin Harris, said he
dropped out of Team Englewood High School on the South Side after
missing too many days from school. The 19-year-old, who lives in the
West Englewood neighborhood, said he missed a lot of days because he had
to stay home and help his mother take care of his little brother.
"My mother had a baby and needed help getting
around the house and no one was available but me," explained Harris. "My
dad had to go to work and my other siblings had to go to school. I
sacrificed my education to help my mother and I would do it again if she
Unlike other alternative high schools, where
armed security guards walk the hallways, West Town does not use security
guards or metal detectors.
"That's not our philosophy here. We don't
want to react to conflict we try to resolve any conflicts before it
escalates into something worse," said Nolen, a former Chicago Public
One thing that concerns Nolen, Leavy and
other administrators at GWTP is the pending state budget, which has not
yet been finalized by the governor and General Assembly. Collectively,
Linda Thomas, director of client services; Juliann Salinas, assistant
director; and Robert Fittin, training program director, said elected
officials are out of touch with reality and their internal differences
with each other is hurting families who are already in crisis.
"I think [Gov. Bruce] Rauner does not have a
clue how his cuts are affecting having social service agencies and
low-income households," said Salinas.
Fittin suggested that without a state budget
in place soon, the organization could be forced to make some hard
"I don't know exactly what those decisions
would be, but I'm sure it would include laying off staff or reducing
services we offer," Fittin said. "Either way you look at it, there's no
upside to it."
Thomas, who has worked at the organization
for over 20 years, said she is praying for a miracle.
"Only God can fix this mess caused by a group
of people who have no idea what it is like to go hungry," she said.
Still, Leavy said he is optimistic that the
organization could survive any further cuts from Springfield.
"You heard all the stories from our
participants. And there are many more success stories West Town has
created; but without funding, it will be hard to continue our mission to
build a community-based response to expanding [free] educational and
economic opportunities for disadvantaged residents," he said.