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Aon Commits to Education and Career Growth

When our Employment Services team meets an employer interested in hiring our job seekers, we get to work and dig deep.

“We’re not only looking at the specifics of an employer’s job descriptions,” explains Joe Mutuc, Chief Business Development Officer for Cara Collective. “We take a holistic view: everything from the application and interview process, willingness to provide feedback, onboarding schedule, career pathing, and values alignment.”

So if an employer becomes a Cara Collective employment partner, it’s because we know in our gut that the relationship is truly and mutually beneficial for them and our job seekers. Among these world-class employment partners is leading global professional services firm Aon, who is paving the way for essential talent to thrive.

In August 2021, Aon presented our job seekers with a unique opportunity to propel their careers through the Aon Apprenticeship Program: a two-year paid opportunity working at Aon in business support, data, project management, or information technology while concurrently earning an associate degree from Harold Washington College.

We are thrilled to share that two Cara job seekers were chosen to join the 2021-2022 program: Jamiella and Michael. Three months into the program, our new apprentices reflect on what they have learned so far — both at the office and in the classroom.

“Aon looks for go-getters with motivation, eagerness to learn, and a ‘sky’s-the-limit’ mentality. I can say for a fact that these two individuals embody all that and more.”

Liz Jones, Senior Corporate Account Manager for Cara Collective

Alongside fellow apprentices in their cohort, Jamiella and Michael split their time between going to work and attending classes. Their hours in class are counted toward their full-time, 40-hour work week, allowing for additional work-life balance. All salaries, benefits, tuition, fees, and books are covered by Aon.

“At Cara, we believe in not just getting the job, but investing in a long-term career with growth and advancement over time,” shares Liz Jones. “The Aon Apprenticeship is unique in that it serves as a launching pad for apprentices to continue to gain skills, education, and career advancement, both during the program, and far beyond.”

Aon launched the Chicago Apprentice Network alongside other employers Accenture and Zurich North America in 2017, to build a community for apprentices and the employers creating this new opportunity for talent. In April 2021, the Chicago Apprentice Network surpassed 1,000 apprenticeships in the Chicagoland area, recognizing that by investing in talent so often overlooked, they can provide a significant launch pad for job seekers while fostering an inclusive company culture.

“The apprenticeship program at Aon is so important as we think about the ability to bring diversity of experiences, thought, and people into our organization. The program has provided the opportunity to think more broadly about inclusive employment and the role it plays in driving the culture we look to create at Aon.”

Andrea O’Leary, Aon Chief People Officer for Enterprise Clients

It’s a particularly exciting time for Cara Collective participants to join the Aon Apprenticeship Program, as this model has not only proven to be successful—it’s just getting started. In 2020, Aon announced an investment of $30 million to expand the apprenticeship program to new cities outside of Chicago. By 2030, Aon’s goal is to lead the development of a nationwide network of employers to create 10,000 corporate apprenticeships throughout the country.

For the next two years, we will highlight various aspects of the Aon Apprenticeship Program and follow our participants as they pursue their careers and associate degrees. Look for the next entry in this series in January 2022.

Read our interviews with Jamiella and Michael and support more of our job seekers ready to get back to work.