top of page

The Buzz

News and Updates 
NLEN's New Workforce Campus Is Open!


By Brenda Palms Barber

President and CEO, North Lawndale Employment Network and Sweet Beginnings, LLC; Chair, Workforce Committee, North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council

On August 26th, NLEN hosted our Grand Open House, in partnership with Wintrust Bank The day celebrated 22 years of incredible and impactful work, and the increased potential to impact lives in our new offices and workforce campus at 1111 S. Homan Avenue. After decades of operating our programs from 4 different sites, staff was overjoyed to join hands and celebrate NLEN’s journey, alongside elected officials 24th Ward Alderman Michael Scott, Jr, Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar, City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, and US Representative Danny Davis.   

I spoke about how essential NLEN is to build long-term wealth and prosperity in North Lawndale, and guests also heard from Wintrust Bank President Doug Boersma, NLEN Board Chair Dr. Michael McAfee, and current and former program participants. Guests ate delicious barbeque and received tours of the new facility from NLEN staff, and got to try the delicious drinks and pastries at the beelove café. 

Our new facility would not be possible without the support of Wintrust Bank and every single donor to our Campaign that Works. 

Our new campus is open! Our new campus is meant to be a hub for the community--whether that is relaxing and having a drink at the beelove café, accessing the public wifi, attending a Program Orientation to get connected to employment opportunities, or attending a workshop on financial health. For information on any of our current programs, contact NLEN Outreach and Engagement Specialist Richard Lawrence at Our beelove café is open to the public daily, Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 4 PM.

In the News 

Block Club Chicago

October 4, 2021

"City Partners With Microsoft To Offer Free Tech Courses, Aiming To Give Residents A Pipeline To In-Demand Jobs"

Chicago Sun-Times

October 1, 2021

"City, Microsoft team up to bring digital skills training to over 300,000 Chicagoans"

The New York Times

September 23, 2021

"1 in 3 U.S. Adults Has a Record. Give Them a Fresh Start."

The Chicago Defender

August 25, 2021

"North Lawndale Employment Network Opens Multi-Use Headquarters"

CBS2 News Chicago

August 26, 2021

"North Lawndale Employment Network Has A New Home, And Some Proud Success Stories"

Block Club Chicago

August 27, 2021

"West Side Job Training Campus Will Help Formerly Incarcerated People ‘To Do More, To Be More, To Soar’

The New York Times

August 4, 2021

"If You Paid Your Debt to Society, You Should Be Allowed to Work

Wall Street Journal

May 14, 2019

‘I don’t want to see him fail’: A Firm Takes a Chance on Ex-Inmates


Business Insider

May 5, 2019

13 of the weirdest things you can buy at US airports


January 16, 2019

A Tour of North Lawndale


Atlanta Federal Reserve Book

November 26, 2018

Atlanta Federal Reserve Book 



September 25, 2018

These Community-Minded Businesses Are Changing the Face of Job Training 



September 19, 2018

Low-income Americans get double squeeze from poor credit and high fees


People Magazine – Style section

February 5, 2018

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide – Alicia Keys’ top pick 


NBC 5 Chicago

January 28, 2017

Making a Difference segment with Michelle Relerford


WGN Radio 720 AM

December 4, 2017

The John Williams Show 


Windy City Live 

June 30, 2017

ABC 7’s Windy City Live

bottom of page