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Mayor Lightfoot and CTA Launch “CTA Building Small Businesses Program”

Mayor Lightfoot and CTA Launch “CTA Building Small Businesses Program”

CTA and RPM Contractor Walsh-Fluor team up with LISC Chicago to help small firms get the financial and business capacity they need to compete for large-scale capital projects in Chicago like RPM

As the CTA begins the largest construction project in its history, the $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project, the agency announced today the launch of its “CTA Building Small Businesses Program,” a new, innovative program designed to increase small business participation in RPM and other large-scale construction projects by ensuring local entrepreneurs have the financial guidance, support and resources to bid on City contracts. The “CTA Building Small Businesses Program” was developed to provide financial guidance to small businesses and other DBEs by offering direct loan placement and other supports so they can demonstrate the up-front capital needed to compete on large-scale transportation construction and capital programs.

“Chicago was built by small businesses more than 180 years ago, and if we want to continue building on sustainable, affordable and reliable access to transportation options in every neighborhood, we have to start by ensuring our local entrepreneurs are a key part of that vision,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “CTA knows first-hand that Chicago’s small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and I applaud President Carter for launching a groundbreaking inclusive process to provide the resources and tools necessary to stay on the right track and work with the City on large-scale projects so we can continue building a better Chicago together.”

For some small businesses, working on a large construction project requires resources that many firms don’t have, including cash flow that can allow them to purchase materials ahead of being reimbursed, access to loans and other forms of credit, insurance for larger jobs, and access to IT and administrative supports. Without these tools, it can be impossible for many Chicago area small businesses to participate in construction projects.

“We’ve heard from many small businesses that it can be extremely difficult and intimidating to bid on large projects,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “What is groundbreaking about the ‘CTA Building Small Businesses Program’ is its holistic, step-by-step approach to help DBEs build the financial capacity and the business acumen to work on large projects for CTA and across the state.”

The program has been created through a partnership between the CTA, RPM contractor Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC Chicago). The program consists of free capacity-building workshops for small businesses that are certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) or that are interested in becoming DBE-certified.

The RPM project and LISC Chicago partnership was one of 12 partnerships in Chicago that was recently identified for funding support from the Chicago Community Trust, The Coleman Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The program provides one-on-one financial guidance and helps with prequalifying for loan packages. Firms that do not immediately prequalify for financing will be given access to direct loan placement for financial needs like mobilization, working capital for payroll, equipment and other cash flow needs. The program includes education on insurance and bonding. Qualifying firms can also receive back-office support, technical assistance and other business training.

Beyond helping DBEs compete, the program aims to grow the number of DBEs in the state, currently at about 2,000, and to encourage more of them to do business with CTA.

The first in a series of these free programs was held in September and a second program was held Oct. 24-25. Already, 45 Chicago area small businesses have participated this fall and many are moving forward with LISC Chicago to build the capacity to be ready to bid for sub-contract work on RPM, including becoming loan-ready to build their business. Currently, multiple participants are pursuing loan opportunities and competing for work on the RPM Phase One Project. The next working sessions are scheduled for Nov. 21-22 at the Austin African American Business Networking Association (AAABNA) headquarters, 5820 W. Chicago:

Workshop — Thursday, Nov. 21
3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Networking
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Two-hour workshop
The two-hour workshop will describe how to obtain financing and other back office support for your business. Participants will have the opportunity to talk directly to lenders but are required to attend the workshop to participate in one-on-one assessments with lenders.

One-on-one assessments – Thursday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 22
Nov. 21 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 22 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Participants can select their 30-minute one-on-one session when they register. Registration info is here.

The “CTA Building Small Businesses Program” is made possible in partnership with LISC Chicago, a leading community development support organization. LISC brings a network of neighborhood financial opportunity centers and other partners to provide financial education, financial products to build credit and assets and a network of community partners to offer technical assistance for these small businesses.

LISC is leveraging support for this program through its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bank, US Bank, Providence Bank and First Midwest Bank, to provide flexible and low-cost loan capital to minority entrepreneurs on Chicago’s south and west sides. In addition, the Businesses of Color Partnerships Fund led by the Chicago Community Trust, The Coleman Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Robert R. McCormick Foundation is providing grant funding to support the program.

“The Walsh-Fluor team is working hard to help these small businesses succeed,” said Project Executive David Shier.

For more information about the project, contact the CTA’s Diversity Department by emailing diversity@transitchicago.com or calling (312) 681-2600.

As part of our Teen Summer Challenge, up to ten teens are invited for this interactive two-hour audio and sound design workshop with Yollocalli Arts Reach. Teens will learn about sound recording and editing, as well as story composition and narration. Each participant should walk away with the skills to develop, record and edit an audio story they can submit to Yollocalli’s Sudio Y youth-led program, Wattz Up! Radio Show broadcast on 105.5 FM Lumpen Radio Chicago.

Be sure to check out the subsequent recording and editing session with Yollocalli interns on July 22 from 12:30-2:30 (no registration is required for this drop-in opportunity).

This workshop will take place at 1605 N. Troy St. in YOUmedia.

This Python workshop will start from the very basics, assuming that you’ve never coded before. We’ll begin by learning about what a coding language is, how we can interact with out computers using it, and how we can control our computers to do what we want. From there, we’ll work our way through the basics of Python – learning about printing, variables, lists, and loops. This event is organized by Chicago.AnitaB.org and sponsored by Metis.

Cost: Free

Registrater here.

This FREE workshop provides the education and tools necessary to purchase and sustain a home in today’s market.

Topics include:

     · Home-ownership Readiness        · Shopping for a Home
· Managing your Money                   · Understanding Credit
· Protecting your Investment

At the end, participants will receive the HomeBuyer Education Certificate, a useful tool when applying for down payment assistance. NOTE: Must complete both parts (12 hours total) to be eligible to receive certificate.

WHEN: Saturday, November 18th
8:30am -3pm

WHERE: Center for Changing Lives
1955 N. Saint Louis Ave #101
Chicago, IL 60651

To Reserve your spot, please contact:
Imelda Rodriguez
Imelda@cclconnect.org
773-342-6210 x 230

Mark your calandars for CCL’s next Financial Club on September 14th from 5:45 – 7:30 pm! This month’s topic: Smart Ways to Budget for the Holidays. There will be food and we will also be raffling out gift cards. This workshop is FREE.

To RSVP, please contact:
Vanessa Vaquerano
vista@cclconnect.org
773-342-6210 x222
——————————-
Taller de Finanzas: Presupestar para la Temporada de Fiestas

Marca tus calendarios para CCL’s proximo Club de Finanzas el 14 de noviembre de 5:45 – 7:30 pm. La tema de este mes: Presupuestar para la Temporada de Fiestas. Habrá comida y también rifas de tarjetas de regalo. Este taller es GRATIS.

Para reservar un puesto contacta a:
Vanessa Vaquerano
vista@cclconnect.org
773-342-6210 x222

 

 

Instructor: James Papademas, Industry Professor and Graduate Advisor at the Illinois Institute of Technology

This tutorial provides an intermediate approach of the Python language. We’ll cover data centric approaches to build exciting and data driven apps quickly, efficiently and with effective formattable display options including graphical output! Topics include lists, dictionaries, iterators, lambdas, file IO (formats: csv, json), data visualizations, and web APIs. This event is hosted by Arity, sponsored by Allstate and organized by ABI.Chicago. This workshop is designed for people with two or more years of Python exp.

Instructor: Darryl Hughes, CEO of Hughes Who Productions, LLC

Through this drawing intensive course, students acquire an understanding of figurative human emotions and movements, enabling them to create believable animation. Students will create model sheets, describe & refine character attributes, and learn how to endow their characters with human traits & actions. Pencil testing allows the refinement of movement and expressions with final images shot digitally. This event is hosted by DePaul University’s CDM department.

Workshop is FREE!

Instructor: Tina Marie Johnson, Illustrator & Author 
Students will learn how to use Adobe Illustrator software tools to create cool high-quality images, illustrations, logos and more. Whether it is their own creation or to in enhance the ideas of others, students will have fun, learn Adobe Illustrator as a beginner, create an art board and design. This event is hosted by DePaul University’s CDM department.
Workshop is FREE!

Presenter: Jeanne Lambin

Learn to craft powerful, persuasive, and compelling presentations in this fun, interactive, workshop. Drawing on her background in improvisation and storytelling, acclaimed presenter & educator, Jeanne will show you specific strategies to improve your public speaking. This event is hosted by Signal Chicago.

 

This workshop is an Intro to Ruby where you will learn the basics. Learn why this language is a market leader in technology and participate in a fun exercise. This event is organized by ABI.Chicago and sponsored by HS2 Solutions.

Instructor:

Dmitry Rozental has deep experience in the Information Technology industry including coding,
software development, software design, system architecture, unit testing, reporting and documentation,
team leadership and mentoring, and project management.

Speakers:

Courtney Braafhart is a passionate developer of 14 years. She began learning how to program games on the DOS prompt.
After college, she went to work for the State of Nebraska where she had her first taste of normalizing databases and Ruby on Rails.
Recently she has been writing web services that utilize hypermedia standards.
As of late her favorite way to program is using the software development technique, MobProgramming.

Brian Kosik started off in the C++ world in college while completing his BS in Computer Engineering.
He learned PHP and Ruby on Rails during an internship and has been working with Ruby on Rails ever since.
Brian loves to learn and try new languages & strategies that that are continually being developed in the industry.

Class Prep:
Students can use/download the following in advance of the workshop:
– An in-browser ruby environment which does not require any preliminary setup

Install Ruby on your computers:
– For Windows, download and run RubyInstaller
– Most of the latest versions of OSX already come with Ruby 2.0 installed

To write code, use your favorite text editor. Here are a couple of recommendations:
Atom.io
Sublime Text 3