For Immediate Release

The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership Expands Young Adult Services in its American Job Center (AJC) Network to Chicago’s South Side and South Suburban Cook County

Delegate agencies National Able Network, Inc. and Youth Job Center Will Help Teens and Young Adults Choose Careers

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) today announced it is expanding the youth and young adult services its network provides on Chicago’s South Side and in South Suburban Cook County.

The Partnership is leveraging two agencies in its network, National Able Network, Inc. (National Able) and Youth Job Center (YJC), to reach young adults seeking employment, training, and career pathway opportunities. National Able and YJC staff will offer these services at the American Job Center (AJC) locations at 1700 W. 18th Street, Chicago, and on the campus of Prairie State College,
202 South Halsted Street, ATOC Building – Suite 148, Chicago Heights. Services are currently offered by appointment only.

These sites are home to two of ten AJCs in Chicago and Suburban Cook County; the other eight AJCs
in The Partnership’s network currently offer young adult workforce development services. In
2020, youth unemployment in Illinois was a staggering 23.3% and was 29% among Black or
African American youth and 25.7% among Hispanic youth1.

“Workforce development is the key to economic empowerment, and this work must begin with youth and young adults,” said Partnership CEO Karin M. Norington-Reaves. “We have always served young people but primarily through community-based organizations. Now with greater demand than ever before, we are bringing additional youth and young adult resources into our entire American Job Center Network. Young adults can now come to these sites and receive access to job leads in high-demand industries, education and training resources, personalized career advising, and paid internships tailored to the needs of 18- to 24-year-olds.”

The Partnership offers other programs aimed at young adult career exploration, including Opportunity Works, a paid internship program that trains young adults in suburban Cook County and connects them with businesses looking for employees and through the Chicago and Cook County Young Adult Workforce Development website, an online career exploration portal created with Roadtrip Nation.

“At Youth Job Center, we know that strong partnerships are essential in preparing young people for careers,” said Karen T. Demorest, Executive Director of Youth Job Center, “We are very excited to collaborate with The Partnership and National Able at these AJCs to provide young people with information, support, connections and more to ensure they have the opportunity to explore the many exciting and viable career pathways that await them.”

“Youth and young adults in our communities need career support from organizations with the expertise and connections that help young people build skills and career pathways,” said National Able Network’s President and CEO, Bridget Altenburg. “Youth Job Center is that expert, and we are thrilled to introduce them into the American Job Centers at a time when the need is so significant in our communities and among our youth.”


About The Partnership

The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) is a non-profit umbrella organization operating the public workforce system for the City of Chicago and Cook County.

The Partnership combines federal and philanthropic resources to provide comprehensive workforce development services to employers and job seekers. As the largest public workforce development system in the nation, The Partnership has helped place more than 70,000 individuals in employment; collaborated with more than 2,000 employers; and administered more than $400 million in federal and philanthropic funds. The Partnership’s network consists of 90+ community-based organizations, American Job Centers, satellite sites and sector-driven centers, serving more than 140,000 people annually.  Learn more at

About National Able

National Able Network, Inc. is a leading non-profit organization specializing in providing career counseling, training, and placement services for disadvantaged job seekers of all ages and skill
levels. By designing programs that are mission-driven and results-oriented, National Able Network is a leader in implementing workforce development strategies that strengthen local and national
economies of scale. To that end, for every $1 invested in a National Able Network client, $5.95 is
contributed back into the economy. National Able Network’s services for job seekers include individualized short- and long-term career planning, nationally-recognized Job Readiness Training, access to wraparound services to meet basic needs, connections to post-secondary education and training, and job placement assistance. Each year, National Able Network provides career services to more than 75,000 individuals in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.

About the Youth Job Center

Youth Job Center (YJC) is a leading youth workforce development agency in Cook County, serving youth and young adults aged 14-25 and annually providing job training and placement, personalized career advising, work-based learning programs, financial literacy training and coaching, access to income supports, retention and career advancement supports, and connections to wraparound emotional-social services to participants across Evanston, Chicago, and greater Cook County. YJC’s programs and curriculum have a long and successful history of working with youth from diverse backgrounds at all steps of the career pathway process.