Economic Development
February 15, 2023

In Demand Opportunities – Career Pathways Program

The Southwest Organizing Project with the support of PepsiCo, Amazon and Richard Daley College has set an ambitious goal of connecting 100 individuals per year to career pathway training programs. When SWOP achieves its goal, it will boost Southwest Side families with $40k of extra income and inject $4 million a year into the local economy.

SWOP is focusing on connecting community residents ages 18-30 to FREE careers training providers in Manufacturing, Healthcare, Financial Services, CDL, and Information Technology. “These in-demand jobs can be life saving for a young person and can change the trajectory of their lives “said SWOP Employment Organizer and longtime youth organizer and advocate Quabeeny Daniels, better known as Q. “There is nothing like seeing the shine return in a young person’s eyes as we discuss the possibilities a career will provide them or seeing the sense of accomplishment as we update their resume to add the completion of their training program.”

Tamara Braxton who recently completed an IT training program shared “I am so excited in going to take my CCNA Certification test. I plan to not only obtain my CCNA but continue learning and adding to my IT skills.”

“There are so many families that just do not know the resources that are available to them” said community organizer Joel Rodriguez. “It is so frustrating that families have no clue that there are free programs that allow them to gain skills that can launch their careers or that in Chicago Public Schools students that achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher can attend City Colleges for free through the STAR Scholarship regardless of their status. Our aim is to build power by informing families of these resources and being the bridge to them.”

To further support job seekers, SWOP has created a Career Pathway and Leadership training that equips participants with the tools to successfully maneuver through their training program and employment journey. It is also infused with SWOP’s traditional leadership development curricula. SWOP hopes to build a strong Southwest Workforce that is committed to building community.

For more information about SWOP’s Workforce Development initiatives contact Joel Rodriguez at or Quabeeny Daniels

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