Success Stories

Anthony Pettigre, CDL truck driver is living his career dream a resident from Chicago’s West side states, “earlier in my life, I made some unwise decisions that landed me in Federal prison for seven years. After my release, I found myself living in a shelter for six months.  During my stay, I met others who were serious about changing their lives. I became one of those people”.  

I was informed by a resident in the shelter that the Greater West Town Development Project was a good place to start. The program provides a comprehensive array of services to a diverse range unemployed community residents while supporting the employment needs of local employers.  I attended the workshops and met with my employment specialist to focus on my career goals and address my lack knowledge how to prepare and find employment.  After completing the workshops and meeting regularly with my employment specialist, I felt well prepared for job placement. 

The staff at Greater West Town Development Project assisted me in creating a professional resume and helped me polish my interviewing skills. The program helped me accomplished my main goal of getting into the workforce. Shortly after completing the workshops my employment specialist assisted with receiving a grant to earn my commercial driver’s license.   I now have my CDL Class-A license and have been driving for T.H. Ryan Cartage Company for over six months. I enjoy my job immensely.
I feel that through the process at Greater West Town Development Project, I have been able to focus on my short and long term dreams and take the steps needed to make them a reality.

Jose Luis Rosales came to Greater West Town where he was given the opportunity to discuss his employment goals and needs. Jose had multiple barriers to employment such as limited work history, multiple convictions and was recently released from prison.  Jose was also living in a recovery home for drug addicts.  Most of Jose's skills were learned inside of the prison and he was Basic Skills deficient. 

Jose received individual assistance from his employment specialist and successfully completed the Job Readiness Training program where he learned to identify his skills and market himself to employers. Jose had never created a cover letter, resume, or a thank you letter to use to secure employment. Through the assistance of his employment specialist Jose completed the necessary items to secure employment.  Upon further job coaching, Jose was determined, ready for employment, and was referred to Entertainment Cruises for a prep cook position. Jose interviewed for the position and within a week of finishing Job Readiness Training was employed full time as a prep-cook. Jose admitted he had never been on a job interview before and had never had to wear a suit. Jose is very happy to have found stable, permanent employment. He checks in routinely with his employment specialist and stays engaged. Recently, Jose has rented an apartment, which provides him with stable housing. 

In the words of Jose, "I've always loved cooking. I'm glad I wake up every morning and go to work. It's a good feeling. Without this help, I don't know where I'd be right now. I have a great job!"