New Directions for ETC

Each program faces its own challenges related to the budget this year. The Adult Education and Training Center (ETC) is especially vulnerable because over 50% of program funding depends upon the state. But we are not letting this get us depressed. The neighborhood level demand for the program remains strong, so we will figure out a way to fund it. The key is to understand the nature of the demand for our services. For example, we are serving more and more adults who are considered “ex-offenders”. Around 40% of ETC students right now have a criminal record of some kind. So we are trying to plug into federal and other funding to serve people who are exiting prison. The ETC started as a welfare to work effort in the 1990s, but today we are finding we need to re-tool to meet the present day circumstances and demand. We had a great meeting today with Project Safe Neighborhoods about what they are doing and how we could work together. This issue will be big for Chicago Commons during the coming few months.