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Workforce Development Program Receives $35,000 Fry Foundation Grant

A $35,000 grant from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation (Fry Foundation) will support the Pathways to Success healthcare bridge program at Erie Neighborhood House.

An important component of the Erie House Workforce Development program, the 16-week precertification course is designed to develop basic skills and contextual competency for adult learners interested in advancing their careers in an allied healthcare field.

Upon completing the course, students are then able to enroll in a professional program—typically to become a medical assistant—at one of the City Colleges of Chicago. In as little as 3 semesters, a graduate can become a certified medical assistant working in a hospital setting.

The Fry Foundation’s generous grant support is designed to increase enrollment in the healthcare cohort and encourage greater retention and eventual job placement for students in the program.

“Our participants want higher wages and a job with benefits,” observes Judy Lai, director of Workforce Development at Erie House. “Without the necessary training and certification(s) in place, it’s very difficult to obtain a career in a desired field.”

Lai explains that the program at Erie House aims to lay a foundation on which students can build an exciting new career, equipping them with the tools, resources and confidence they need to thrive.

“The Fry Foundation’s support for our Workforce Development program is not just an investment in individual lives, it’s an investment in our labor force and the wellbeing of our entire community.”

– Kirstin Chernawsky, Erie House Executive Director

“For our adult learners, the opportunity to develop a skill set that will lead to increased economic opportunity is paramount,” says Erie House executive director Kirstin Chernawsky. “The Fry Foundation’s support for our Workforce Development program is not just an investment in individual lives, it’s an investment in our labor force and the wellbeing of our entire community.”

For more information on the Workforce Development program at Erie House, please visit www.eriehouse.org.

About Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

The Fry Foundation awards grants in four major areas: Arts Learning, Education, Employment and Health. Across all of our funding areas, our focus is on helping organizations: build capacity to enhance the quality of services and better assess the impact of programs; develop successful program innovations that other organizations in the field can learn from or adopt; and share knowledge so that information which can help low-income communities and individuals is widely and readily available. We are especially interested in program innovations that advance practice in the field.

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