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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Project H.O.O.D. Launches Program To Help South Side Job Seekers: ‘We Have The People, They Have The Tools’

A new partnership with CareerBuilder aims to help South Siders find employment.

Project H.O.O.D. Founder Pastor Corey Brooks recently announced a partnership between the nonprofit and CareerBuilder to connect South Siders with jobs.
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WOODLAWN — CareerBuilder and Project H.O.O.D. are teaming up to help South Side residents find jobs.

Through the nonprofit’s Entrepreneurship Center, CareerBuilder, a Chicago-based global human resources tech company, will offer in-kind access to their Talent Network technology to connect area employers with job seekers. That technology will assist people with resume building, career mapping and job searches.

Pastor Corey Brooks, founder of Project H.O.O.D. and spiritual leader at New Beginnings Church, sees the collaboration as a way of making local employers more accessible to untapped talent. The idea came from businessman Richard Edelman, a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors and whose firm includes CareerBuilder as a client.

“We’ve found that the most common obstacle is not being aware of potential jobs, and not having adequate resumes to get in the door,” Brooks said. “Sometimes, people lack some of the skills that are needed with respect to what employers are looking for. Those are the two major things CareerBuilder will have a major impact with.”

Job seekers can walk into Project H.O.O.D.’s Entrepreneurship Center, 6335 S. King Drive, for one-on-one help with resumes and accessing CareerBuilder job listings.

People can also learn how to navigate the job-seeking process through mock interviews, lessons on workplace etiquette and mentoring. Financial coaching is also available.

Looking for a job is hard enough, but looking for work in the middle of a pandemic comes with its own set of difficulties. Nonprofits in nearby Englewood scrambled this year move community job fairs online to continue facilitating connections between major companies and talented workers.

With Black residents struggling with unemployment, Brooks believes that one solution lies in aligning with the private sector.

“Since we have a grassroots connection with lots of people who are in of jobs, and we also do workforce development and career building ourselves, it’s just a classic partnership that will work well together,” Brooks said.

“We have the people, they have the tools. Together, we can help people fulfill what they’re trying to do.”

In the three years since the nonprofit opened its entrepreneurship center, dozens of residents in and around Woodlawn have had success finding employment or launching businesses of their own, Brooks said.

The center has even managed to help businesses during the pandemic, paying their rent to keep them open, or assisting them with Small Business Administration loan paperwork.

The Entrepreneurship Center is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Many of the resources it offers will be available online at a later date.

RELATED: Englewood Nonprofit Gets $1 Million For Job Training Program

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