“Wherever I go in the next five, ten, twenty years, it’s always going to come back to this. To Growing Home. Because there’s something that you all saw in me, and your hearts went out to me. People like me deserve a second chance and Growing Home gave me that second chance.”Program Graduate


“I learned to be a working man, and it has changed the whole way I look at life.” Lavert, Program Graduate


employment training program outcomes


Individuals Were Enrolled

Our enrollees are motivated to work hard and build healthy lives, but face multiple barriers to employment (2020)


Completed the Program

Our Production Assistants benefit from fieldwork, hard skills training, and personalized case management services to prepare them for the workforce (2020)


of Graduates Earned Jobs Related to Agriculture

Our graduates find jobs along Chicago’s food chain, gaining positions with urban growing facilities, wholesalers, retailers, and restaurants. The rest find positions in other important fields (2019)


of Graduates retained their first job post-graduation for at least 30 days

Our staff prepares graduates to find and keep quality jobs by simulating a real job experience during training, and troubleshooting job-related issues as they arise (2019)


Graduates Completed a Supportive Service Goal

Our Case Manager provides Production Assistants with referrals for services including assistance with housing, childcare, healthcare, and GED preparation (2019)


Individuals Experienced a Positive Legal Outcome

Our partnership with Cabrini Green Legal Aid helps our Production Assistants overcome what is most often the largest barrier to employment: criminal records (2019)

Growing Home adds immense value to our Chicago community.  They work with a population that needs support and gives them the skills and training they need to become an asset to organizations like my own.

Dave Rand, COO & CO-FOUNDER, Local Foods


our employer partners

After completing our 12-week program, our Production Assistants begin careers all along Chicago’s food chain and beyond. With hands-on training in urban agriculture with transferable skills, they are prepared for positions at urban farms and growing facilities, at local food hubs, with grocers, at high-end restaurants as well as in construction & trade, customer services and further education. We collaborate with local, Chicago employers to help Production Assistants find jobs so they can support themselves and their families.

Food Service & Restaurant:


Shake Shack


Chicago Pit Stop BBQ


Protein Bar

One Off Hospitality-Publican Quality Meats


Specialty’s Café & Bakery


Retail & Grocers:

Local Foods

Jewel Osco

L & M Fine Foods

City Press Juice & Bottle

Whole Foods

Urban Agriculture:

Gotham Greens

Chicago Botanic Garden- Windy City Harvest

Herban Produce

The Urban Canopy

Food Manufacturing:

Koch Foods


Farmer’s Fridge

Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery

Schulze and Burch Biscuit Co.


Food and Paper Supply Co.



Hospitality & Hotels:

Holiday Inn & Suites

Hotel Staffing Solutions

St. Jane Hotel


SCR Medical Transportation

Building Maintenance & Construction:

Chicago Scaffolding Inc. (CSI)

Second Chance Renovations

Rebuilding Exchange

Next Steps