Leading Chicagoland Nonprofit Harnesses Online Community in Creating Employment Opportunities

The Challenge: Creating Efficient and Effective Connections Between Job Candidates and Prospective Employers   

The Youth Job Center of Chicago (YJC) was created to provide underserved audiences between the ages of 14 - 25 with a balanced opportunity to seek out and secure employment. In the ‘old days’ this mission was relatively straightforward; however, as technology has evolved, the leadership at YJC has evolved as well. 

Understanding that traditional communication tools were not the best solution for their audiences, YJC sought a more robust tool to connect qualified and talented job seekers with local and regional employers. Additionally, YJC was seeking a platform to execute a wide variety of custom workforce readiness training programs, which provides job seekers with additional credentials and improves employability. 

The Solution: An Online Community Platform 

YJC was faced with an additional challenge many organizations face in today’s business world: which software solution do we choose? While several solutions solved many of the problems YJC faced, only one addressed all: an online community. Working from a hierarchy of priorities, YJC realized that stitching together multiple software solutions was not only time consuming, but also not cost effective. UpSquad’s platform provides all of the necessary communication tools to connect all of the audiences the organization serves and creates a safe online experience that leadership knows will benefit each level of stakeholder. 

The Results: Collaboration, communication and jobs landed 

YJC staff, volunteers, educators and local job seekers now have access to a connected community where lives are furthered. This ecosystem provides participants with relationships to employment agency professionals, mentors and YJC staff expertise. UpSquad has also enabled YJC to further their mission of promoting diversity and equity within Chicago area workplaces and the community overall. 

Since the launch of UpSquad, YJC has served nearly 4,000 Chicago residents and executed 130+ summer programs for local job seekers. Additionally, the platform has supported 642 individual workforce readiness training programs and nearly 500 internship programs. Finally, volunteer participation has also benefited greatly from this new and improved communication platform with a 200% increase in the number of individual volunteers participating with YJC. 

About Youth Job Center of Chicago 

Youth Job Center has been a leading provider of employment-related services for youth in Evanston and Chicago, serving more than 20,000 young people during their 40-year history. YJC was founded on the belief that young adults are an undeveloped community asset— a valuable, untapped source of energy, talent, and productivity in the workplace. In addition to helping young people through tireless efforts, YJC is cited by United Way as "one of the most important and relevant agencies in Evanston."

Interested in Learning More About Dedicated Online Communities? 

Schedule a meeting with Eric Branch from the UpSquad team here | Call or text us directly at 434-270-3622


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