Workforce Development

PODER’s Workforce Development (WFD) program provides career pathways for unemployed or underemployed individuals seeking career opportunities that offer family-sustaining wages and advancement opportunities. Currently, we offer a 5-week Customer Service (CS) training, as well as two industry-specific training programs to build the job skills needed to be successful in an insurance or financial services career: Bilingual Insurance Licensing (BIL) and Latinos in Finance (LIF).

PODER’s Job and Life Skills Workshops are held every trimester to focus on targeted essential skills to prepare our students for the professional workforce. Topics of these workshops include resume creation and development, interview preparation, job search strategies and soft skills. These workshops are PODER’s workforce development staff and experts in the field.


Students who complete the BIL or LIF training programs are guaranteed job offers in their respective industry. In 2019, 81% of graduates were placed in employment and experienced a 34% increase in wages.

Freddy’s Success Story

Freddy, a second-generation immigrant living in nearby Cicero, came to PODER’s Latinos in Finance (LIF) training working as a vault custodian, processing and tabulating millions of dollars in cash daily. But Freddy’s shifts often didn’t end until 1 AM and there was limited career growth opportunity. Freddy went online to start his job search, which is where he found PODER’s LIF recruitment post. LIF was a game-changer for Freddy and he credits the program for pushing him to find the best version of himself.

After LIF graduation, Freddy participated in an Oprima-1 hiring event and received an offer from Marquette Bank, where he works today as a financial sales representative. With one semester left at Morton College, Freddy will graduate with his associate’s degree and then pursue a bachelor’s degree in business management. While reflecting on lessons learned, Freddy shared: “My parents had a dream that in this country their children would one day be able to achieve great things. They taught me that anyone has the ability to succeed, no matter what the circumstances. PODER empowers millennials like me with the skills and confidence to attain the type of success my parents envisioned for me.”

Program Benefits

The program empowers students to:

  • Learn technical and soft skills needed for customer service, financial services sector, or insurance sector jobs
  • Gain competitive workplace technology skills
  • Explore career pathways and set short and long-term career goals
  • Build a resume, practice interview skills, and network with employer partners
  • Secure employment with one of PODER’s employer partners

Programs & Class Schedule

Customer Service Training

Training Days: 5 weeks/ Once a week

Location: Pulaski Site and currently virtually

Training Days: Fridays

Training Times: 11:30am -3:30pm

Insurance Licensed Sales Professional Training

Training Days: 2 weeks/ 3 Pre-Licensing Seminar Days, 3 Group Study Sessions, and 4 Individual Study Sessions

Location: Pulaski Site and currently virtually

Training Times: Pre-Licensing Seminar: Thursday 9:15am -6:00pm ; Friday 9:15am -7:00pm & Saturday: 9:15am -2:00pm
Group Study Sessions: 11:30am -2:30pm

Latinos in Finance Training

Training Days: 8 weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays

Location: Pulaski Site and currently virtually

Training Times: 9:15am -3:15pm


3 ways to register for classes:

Online Registration

You will be able to complete your registration information and complete a written placement assessment.

Direct Email to Program Contact

Send a direct inquiry to the program contact.

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