President George W. Bush's faith-based initiative has sparked increased interest in the role faith-based organizations can play in the development of low-income communities. Government is increasingly relying on religious groups to provide economic and moral development in communities, advocates argue, because faith-based organizations are well-organized, well disciplined groups that know communities. I I The following report describes Chicagoland Youth and Adult Training Center (CYATC), a three-year-old workforce development initiative created by faith-based organizations located in low-income communities, with Ford Motor Company and its' Chicago-area dealerships, and local government, and educational institutions. CYATC was started to help employers address their needs for skilled workers and to train at risk youth and adults for high skill/high wage jobs. Since it was started in October 2000, over two hundred youth and adults have enrolled, twenty-nine have graduated, and twenty have been placed in jobs that average $12.50 per hour. Graduates receive four industry-recognized certifications, 20 hours of community college credits, and their GED, ESL education, as needed. Starting wages for CYATC's graduates were 56% higher than the median wage for comparable non-experienced new hires in the industry.
Wilson, Jose and Banks, Brian, "Chicagoland Youth and Adult Training Center: Building Strong Relationships Betweel1 FaithBased Organizations, Govemn1ent and Corporations to Transform Low-Income Communities" (2004). Special Topics, General. 109.
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