“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


2018 Job Training Program Outcomes

Individuals Were Enrolled

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

Completed the Program

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

of Graduates Earned Jobs

Our graduates find jobs along Chicago’s food chain, gaining positions with urban growing facilities, wholesalers, retailers, and restaurants.

of Graduates retained their job 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.

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.

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.

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 14-week program, our Production Assistants begin careers all along Chicago’s food chain. With hands-on training in urban agriculture, they are prepared for positions at urban farms and growing facilities, at local food hubs and wholesalers, with grocers, and at high-end restaurants. We collaborate with local, food-focused businesses to help Production Assistants find jobs so they can support themselves and their families.

Broadway in Chicago

Cara Connects

Catholic Charities

CeaseFire Cure Violence

Center Fitness

Earth First


Habitat Company

Helping Hands Partners


Kusanya Café

Laine’s Bake Shop

Local Foods



One Off Hospitality Group

Pete’s Produce

Rebuilding Exchange


Shake Shack

Specialty’s Café & Bakery

St. Anthony Hospital



Tracks End Restaurant

Thirsty Badgers (WI)


Whole Foods Market

Next Steps