Funded by United Way of Metro Chicago and Illinois State Treasurer.

Indo-American Center’s Workforce Development Program offers a comprehensive approach which guides clients toward job placement. As a component of Adult Literacy and Computer Education Programs, this program provides clients with career-based English-language learning, computer literacy, transferable job skills, and job-readiness skills.

This Program includes contextualized English as a Second Language (ESL) learning, goal planning and career exploration, development of career-related terminology, and practicing workplace interactions. A special emphasis will be placed on digital literacy in the classroom to provide the computer skills required to pursue a career path and retain employment in several workforce sectors.

English Literacy Classes

Building from IAC’s Adult Literacy Program model, the career-based literacy track is offered at Level 2, after students have demonstrated basic English-speaking abilities. This Workforce Development Program provides two levels of career-based ESL. Levels 2 and 3 integrate computer education with a focus on long-term career planning and job readiness.


Prior to enrollment, all clients are required to complete a computer literacy pre-test, supply a resume or list of work experience, and provide proof of their ability to work in the United States. Reading and writing skills are formally assessed through the Basic English Skills Test (BEST), an exam that tests adult learners on a variety of functional tasks requiring basic literacy. Clients’ listening and speaking skills are informally assessed through an interview that that asks general questions regarding background and education. Student Performance Levels (SPL) assess listening comprehension, oral communication, reading, and writing. Adult learners are assigned to the appropriate class depending on their BEST score, the results of their interview, and their SPL score.

Who Can Participate

IAC’s Workforce Development Program is available to adult residents of Chicago, at least 18 years old and must have permanent work authorization, who are looking to be engaged in sustainable employment. This population may include, but will not be limited to, students with an equivalent of at least a high school diploma, public housing residents, unemployment recipients, low-wage incumbent workers, dislocated workers, and immigrant and refugee populations.

Job Readiness Training and Workshops

Students who have completed four levels of literacy training will be trained in U.S. workplace customs and will be prepared with job-readiness skills, such as eligibility assessment, resume writing, orientation practices, workplace professionalism, effective communication and problem-solving skills, customer service, self-management, and dependability. Additionally, these individuals will have the abilities to use technological tools for communication through email, telephone, facsimile machines, resource rooms, and labor market information.

Monthly workshops will be offered and will cover topics such as Resume Writing, Interview Skills, and Financial Planning. These workshops are available to students with specific job skills needs, as well as the broader community. Dates and times vary, please contact program staff listed below for current schedule.

Financial Literacy 

The Workforce Development Program offers Financial Literacy workshops to assist clients to gain financial independence and stability. The curriculum introduces clients to the U.S. banking system, helps them gain comfort using the system, develops their individual financial planning skills and helps them to grow positive habits for spending and budgeting earned income.

Workshop topics include Couponing, Budgeting, Banking, Taxes, Credit, Identity Theft and Debt Management. Anyone interested is welcome. Dates and times vary, please contact program staff listed below for the current schedule.

For more information, please contact our Workforce Development Case Manager at 773-973-4444 X112.