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Cara Connects Helps Bring Latinos @ Work Program to Chicago

Partnership with UnidosUS and Verizon brings a $1 million investment in a digital literacy and job readiness program for Chicago’s Latino community.

Cara Connects and our co-location partner Northwest Side Housing Center joined UnidosUS and Verizon in announcing $1 million in grant funding for the new Latinos @ Work program, which aims to improve digital literacy rates among Latino workers across the country. Janet Murguía, UnidosUS President and CEO; Craig Silliman, Verizon’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel; James Rudyk, Northwest Side Housing Center’s Executive Director; Maria Kim, Cara President & CEO; and Sasha Ongtengco, Director of Cara Connects met with local leaders and advocates for the Latino community during the official launch.

“Northwest Side Housing Center is excited to continue to advance our mission of responding to the needs of the Latinx community through partnering with Cara Connects to add the Latinos @ Work digital literacy curriculum and tools to the workforce development services we offer,” said James Rudyk, Executive Director of Northwest Side Housing Center. “This support helps low-income Latinas in the Belmont Cragin community sharpen their skills with the latest technology to be even more competitive for high-demand jobs.”

Through Latinos @ Work, Northwest Side Housing Center will partner with Cara Connects to offer an eight-week curriculum and provide technology tools and professional services to help program participants become more digitally competent in the workforce. Enrolled participants will also be provided with meals, childcare, laptops, and transportation during the duration of their course.

Cara Connects, a mission-driven staffing agency and social enterprise of Cara, has worked with Northwest Side Housing Center since 2016. What began as a referral-based partnership has now blossomed into the birth of a Cara Connects co-location, bringing our one-of-a-kind staffing agency closer to the Northwest Side communities.

“We are grateful for the support of UnidosUS to implement Latinos @ Work which will equip low-income Latino job seekers with important digital literacy skills and preparation to succeed in an evolving economy. In addition, we’re excited for their support to elevate the innovative, model partnership between Cara Connects and Northwest Side Housing Center that’s responded to the needs of underserved communities in more meaningful and impactful ways,” said Sasha Ongtengco, Director of Cara Connects.

Learn more about this announcement and Latinos @ Work.