Nityananda Bell, our 2018 Creating a Community that Works client awardee, came to the North Lawndale Employment Network as the result of his completion of a mechanic training program at Lincoln Tech. Despite excelling in this program, he was unable to obtain employment due to his criminal background.
He was recruited by NLEN outreach staff, who informed him of the Moving Forward diesel mechanic training program, which trains low-income individuals with multiple barriers to employment, including incarceration, for employment in the transportation, distribution and logistics sector. He completed U-Turn Permitted in July of 2015, and subsequently, enrolled in the Moving Forward program.
Upon completion, he applied to the Chicago Transit Authority, where he was able to secure a position as a rebuild mechanic. CTA provided him with access to job training that leads to certification and careers with benefits and advancement. He was only in his first position for three months before being promoted to diesel mechanic trainee. Since his start in 2015, Nityananda has shown what is possible when one has determination, focus and hard work.
He has been promoted once again and now holds the position of bus mechanic earning a living wage with full benefits and union protections.