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At i.c.stars we provide a rigorous technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for low-income adults, developing Chicagoland’s most promising information technology talent with leadership goals and connecting them with career opportunities through our social enterprise and our partner organizations.
Our social mission is central to our work. Our primary goal as a social enterprise is to further our mission, and the profits earned through our business model support our training program. Working with low-income young adults, providing them with employment opportunities and preparing them for community-based advocacy allows us to achieve our social purpose.
i.c.stars is highly selective. Out of four hundred candidates for every class, we choose 10–15, following a twenty-hour finalist candidate interview process. We look for individuals who have overcome serious adversity and have developed the highest levels of resilience, a passion for technology, problem-solving aptitude, and motivation to help others.
i.c.stars attracts candidates through a variety of partnerships and outreach programs with job training organizations, Chicago Public Schools, The Alternative Schools network, various community job fairs and news media. In addition to strong resiliency skills, we seek individuals who have a profound sense of purpose and an unwavering ambition to succeed.
Using project-based learning, participants work in teams on a range of projects during this intensive training course and two year practicum. There are 300 learning objectives over the length of three projects. Each project is four weeks long and the initial program wraps up with career readiness training and job shadowing to provide our interns with on-the-job training. Each student earns as much as 1,000 hours of hands-on practical business experience and social media expertise.
Ongoing training is provided to our graduates over the two-year period. During that time, participants are required to take college level classes and earn an associates degree from our city college partners , and are given merit-based employment opportunities through our social enterprise.
We Put Talent to Work
Our intensive workforce and community leadership development program brings together cutting-edge technology and innovative minds to serve your most important business needs through our job placement services.
We provide cost-effective innovative technology-based talent trained through our two-year specialized training program. We also partner with leading service providers who leverage the skills of our graduates to deliver cutting edge technology tools.
In addition to these direct services, we also connect companies with our graduates for full time employment. We have placed i.c.stars’ graduates at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Allstate, Grainger, Hewitt Associates, Accenture, Siemens, Northern Trust, Microsoft, PepsiCo, CNA, Exelon, Loyola University Chicago and Sonnenschein.