An aging workforce, emerging new technologies, and continuing decline
of trades in high schools and community colleges will result in an
estimated two million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the
next ten years. This is a tragedy when so many people struggle to pay
the bills, find a living wage job, and support their families in places
At Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC), we support healthy
communities and economies by teaching low-income adults and workers the
skills they need to earn a living wage. But we go beyond basic skills
training. We also connect job seekers with good jobs in the
manufacturing sector, and we foster the life skills that create a path
out of poverty.
JARC was founded in 1985 as an economic development agency
concentrated in the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor and focused on
keeping good manufacturing jobs in the neighborhood. Our initial efforts
focused on training for manufacturers and development and operation of
commercial buildings for industrial use.
In the 1990s we broadened the scope of our work to include a training
center, targeted directly at jobseekers and community residents. Using
its manufacturing expertise, JARC began implementing the Sectoral Model
of workforce development: preparing job seekers for positions employers
need to fill today.
By the 2000s, JARC became a leader and expert in job training and
employer engagement. We began offering our Manufacturing Bridge Program
to help lower skilled adults raise their math and reading scores to move
into advanced training. With changes in the manufacturing sector, we
began to focus its training on computer numerical control (CNC) and
welding. And as more people came through our doors looking to start a
career, we scaled up our financial support services - including
financial coaching and public benefits screening - to help our
participants meet their basic needs and build their wealth.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
As we have developed an expertise in manufacturing job training,
we've worked to expand our impact. Thousands of Chicagoans lack the
resources to move out of poverty. And local manufacturers continue to
struggle with skills gaps in key positions like CNC machinist and
In 2015 we launched a separate 501c3 affiliate in Baltimore, MD.
More recently, we expanded our programs to the Austin neighborhood on
the west side of Chicago - a community of great challenges and
We have grown and evolved considerably over the last 30 plus years,
but our purpose has always been very simple: people who work should not
live in poverty.