Southwest Organizng Project

SWOP leads the Southwest Employment Collaborative (SWEC), a coalition of workforce development partners and a community development corporation, to connect job seekers to employment opportunities. SWEC uses a workforce development model that decreases barriers to sustained employment and produces a skilled Southwest Chicago workforce through targeted training programs. These training programs are informed by the community and employer/industry partners who are committed to the programs and participants. SWEC partners include: City Colleges of Chicago, Greater Southwest Development Corporation, Metropolitan Family Services, PODER, and Youth Job Center.

Youth Job Center

Youth Job Center is a leading youth workforce agency in Cook County, annually providing job training and placement, personalized career advising, financial literacy training and coaching, work-based learning programs, retention and career advancement supports, and wraparound emotional-social services to thousands of young people across Chicagoland. YJC offers a comprehensive suite of programs and services, guiding youth at every stage of their career development and employment process. The agency works closely with it’s partner, Southwest Organizing Project, to help youth and young adults on Chicago’s Southwest side explore career paths, develop employment skills, access training programs, and secure meaningful employment with career advancement potential. YJC’s programs and curriculum have a long and successful history of working with youth from diverse backgrounds at all steps of the career pathway process and lead to the development of valuable executive functioning skills that help youth overcome challenges throughout their lifetime.


PODER is an immigrant integration center that prepares Spanish-speaking adults to seize opportunities in Chicago through comprehensive and tuition-free English (ESL), civic education and job training programs in Insurance and Banking.

Since 1997, PODER’s objective has been to empower Spanish-speaking adult immigrants to create successful and fulfilling new lives in the United States. Through a deep commitment to the needs of the immigrant communities on Chicago’s southwest side, PODER provides critical societal and workforce integration services with both immediate and long-term impact for families, communities, and employers throughout the City of Chicago.