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Moving Forward


Learn about jobs in the transportation, distribution, and logistics (TDL) industry and explore opportunities for career growth.

Customized Skills Training


NLEN specializes in career-pathway training within the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) industry through its Moving Forward program. No matter your background or experience, if you are looking for an exciting career in a growing sector, TDL may be a good fit for you.

Moving Forward: Automotive and Diesel Mechanic Skills Training

Moving Forward is NLEN’s mechanic skills training partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Through this program, participants are trained for diesel mechanic jobs. There is a growing demand for trained diesel mechanics, who can expect to earn around $42,000 per year ($21.50 per hour).

Like all NLEN programs, Moving Forward ensures clients with multiple barriers to employment are ready to succeed in the workforce and earn a family-supporting wage.

Individuals who successfully complete our training will be qualified to work for CTA as a Bus and Truck Mechanic or Diesel Engine Specialist. Skilled and experienced diesel mechanics may also find work in positions such as:

  • Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics

  • Automotive Mechanics

  • Farm Equipment Mechanics

  • Rail Car Repairers


Our curriculum includes:

  • Job Readiness Training

  • Class B CDL Permit with Air Brake Endorsement

  • Automotive Service Excellence Beginner’s Certification

  • National Auto Parts Association Certification

  • Individualized Job Placement Support

  • Industry Leading Employer Partnerships

“The CTA has a great record of providing a second chance to individuals in need and helping others find a pathway back into the workforce. Partners like NLEN make it possible to open doors and provide valuable training to build careers that can support Chicago families and benefit society at large.”


-Forrest Claypool, CTA President

“We value our partnership with NLEN and work closely with their dedicated staff to develop curriculum that prepares community residents for careers in the transit industry. Whether it is rail car appearance or bus mechanics, the CTA and NLEN strive to offer a hands-on training program that continues to transform lives.”

-Sally Csontos, CTA Director of Learning and Support

Program Eligibility Requirements​

  • Must be a resident of the City of Chicago.

  • Must have a High School diploma or a GED.

  • Must CASA Test in at the 9th-grade level or higher in both Reading and Math

  • Must past drug screening.

  • Must have the ability to lift 100 pounds.

  • Must be willing to commit to NLEN’s 16-week training program, including NLEN’s U-Turn Permitted job readiness class

CTA Second Chance Program

NLEN also offers placement into CTA’s Second Chance Apprenticeship program. Through this program, graduates of U-Turn Permitted are eligible for 9-month apprenticeships as Rail or Bus Servicers. After your apprenticeship, you may become eligible for permanent employment at CTA, including union benefits.

If you are interested in the CTA Apprenticeship program, you must first complete NLEN’s U-Turn Permitted program. Please complete the form at the bottom of this page register for our next orientation.

Moving Forward Closes the Skills Gap

Moving Forward is part of a larger initiative to grow middle-skill jobs in the Chicago region. For more information about careers and growth opportunities in Chicago’s Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics industry, please review this report by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and this article from The Atlantic.

We are proud of the success of our Moving Forward graduates. Read more about how Moving Forward has helped Mark Cross provide for his family in his new job as a Rail Car Repairer.

To learn more about Moving Forward contact 773-638-7070.

Sign Up Today


To start Moving Forward, complete the form below and an NLEN staff member will contact you.


                                         You may also drop by for an upcoming orientation session. 

                                         Fill out my online form.

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