Our Impact

The North Lawndale Employment Network is committed to serving the community and being held accountable not only for the effort we put into our services, but the change we’ve produced as a result. Our first line of accountability is to the people whose lives we are charged with changing. But just as important is our ability to be accountable to our neighborhood, peer organizations, funders and policymakers.

In FY2017, NLEN served 2,500 people (unduplicated). Of those:

  • 80 percent of those who entered job readiness training completed
  • 25 were hired by Sweet Beginnings
  • The average credit score increase was 50 points (over 12 months)

For more information, see the infographic below.


We continue to serve more clients each year and strategize to increase our capacity to meet the demand for services. Our unique and effective model earned us the inaugural award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2006 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and we have been approached by organizations in more than 20 cities, states and countries interested in replicating our programs.

Though we hold ourselves accountable to quantitative results, the impact of NLEN and Sweet Beginnings is also demonstrated in stories of our clients’ success. Our stories have been featured on The American Story with Bob Dotson on NBC’s The Today Show, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric as well as in the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Washington Post, and The Guardian.

Read stories of our clients’ success below:

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