ENGLEWOOD — A Southwest Side job training program for returning residents is getting a $1 million grant from the city.
The money will fund the Inner-City Muslim Action Network’s Green ReEntry program, which offers paid construction training and apprenticeship programs to returning Chicago residents. City Council approved the grant Wednesday.
The program provides 50 people with 12-month apprenticeships and 14 weeks of training in HVAC, electrical, carpentry and production welding. Students will receive wraparound services, including life skills training, case management and behavioral therapy support. They will go on to rebuild homes and apartments across the city.
The grant will allow the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, also called IMAN, to cover stipends for participants, payroll for staff members — including case managers, instructors and therapists — and other administrative costs.
The success of the Green ReEntry program in Chicago has allowed it to expand to other major cities, including Atlanta and Baltimore.
Funding for the Green ReEntry program is from the Chicago Department Of Housing’s Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, which supports local programs to provide affordable housing opportunities across Chicago.
“There could be no more urgent time than now to do all we can to provide returning citizens and young people caught up in the cycle of violence with real opportunities to be dynamic assets in the community, and that’s exactly what this investment with IMAN’s Green ReEntry seeks to do,” Executive Director Rami Nashashibi said in a city press release.
Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) also praised the grant, saying the group provides paid job training to vulnerable residents, setting them on the first steps “on a pathway to a successful career.”
“Through programs like these and community organizations like the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, we are lowering unemployment and poverty in our communities by ensuring returning residents have the invaluable skills and trades they need to build successful lives,” Coleman said in a city press release.
The group is waiting for City Council to approve a $1.75 million Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grant to build its Healthy Marketplace, part of Go Green On Racine, a $20 million plan to revitalize the 63rd Street corridor. Go Green On Racine was one of six finalists for the Chicago Prize, a $10 million grant from the Pritzker Taubert Foundation.
The Inner-City Muslim Action Network, a nonprofit based in Englewood, has served the Southwest Side since 1997.
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