SERCO - Southwest Suburban Cook County American Job Center

SERCO provides employment assistance and occupational job training to Cook County residents which leaders to employment in in-demand occupations and industries with wages that lead to self-sufficiency. This workforce development center provides eligible customers with labor market counseling, career coaching, interview skills training and resume development with the final goal leading to employment through job referrals and placement, job club activities and hiring fairs. Eligible participants can also receive paid occupational training in approved high-demand occupations.

Our agency is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Funding for this program is made possible through a grant provided by the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. For more information, please visit
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Low-Income Adult Training and Employment Program

Located within the Little Village Center, SER operates a workforce development program, helping low-income residents with employment services. SER provides services to help individuals prepare for and find jobs, connect to career services and training and access a wide-range of resources, guiding them to a pathway to economic stability.

Reimaging Retail Program

This retail job quality and worker advancement initiative focuses on providing career coaching, training, financial coaching and income supports to frontline employees who are currently working in the customer service retail sector to navigate a career path to advancement within their current job or into other sectors. This initiative also focuses on engaging retails customer service employers to explore ways employers can play greater roles in supporting entry level staff to access advancing career pathways.

Healthcare Careers Pathway

In partnership with Daley College and the Arturo Velasquez Institute, this bridge structure program has helped hundreds successfully complete a contextualized literacy and numeracy program so that they may gain admission into a healthcare-focused occupational training program at Chicago City Colleges and ultimately find employment at a healthcare facility. This program helps lower-skilled, lower-income adults gain access to training that leads to a viable career in healthcare and helps local healthcare employers find quality staff. The contextualized literacy education and career training model is an integrated, tiered system with multiple entry points and multiple points of exit, depending on the student’s needs and goals. Career pathways include Nursing and Radiology Technician; Nursing Assistant and Personal Care Technician serve as entry opportunities. 

Department of Human Services Programming

Department of Human Services (DHS) referred customers undergo an intensive job readiness training program and receive assistance with obtaining employment for up to 120-days. SER has 3 programs with DHS: Work First Program which services community residents who receive the TANF grant, SNAP Job Placement for community residents that receiving the SNAP benefit and a SNAP special project, servicing residents in Aurora, IL with career coaching and job readiness assistance.

The Work First program is designed to help TANF clients who live in Cook County and who have multiple barriers, gain the training and skills they need to become employed and retain employment. This is a pay-after-performance program for individuals receiving cash, medical and food stamps. Customers assigned to Work First earn their assistance payments by participating and completing assigned work experience and accountable activities.

SNAP Job Placement and special project is a self-support program designed to help individuals acquire work skills that will ultimately lead to the customer becoming gainfully employed.

Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP)

TIP is a transformative job readiness curriculum that empowers participants to develop self-awareness, confidence, hope, goal-orientation, leadership, accountability, conscientiousness and grit. The TIP program consists of 15 employment readiness modules designed to assist low-income job seekers transition from unemployment, due to welfare receipt, homelessness, substance abuse, mental health issues, prison sentencing, etc. – to employment. Twelve years of research findings (2004 – 2016) resulting from the examination of psychological self-sufficiency and its impact on economic self-sufficiency informed the developed of the curriculum. As a result of TIP, empowers participants to be more deeply connected to maintaining internal power, more proactive consumers of the workforce system and more active job seekers in the labor market.

Financial Coaching Service

Central States SER / SERCO - Southwest Suburban Cook County American Job Center and Little Village locations both provide onsite Financial Coaching to customers.  The Financial Coach helps clients with transitions and changes one faces such as getting a job or saving for a life goal of purchasing a car or home.  The Financial Coach will help clients determine their goals and put together a plan to achieve them.  These goals can range from becoming better at budgeting, clearing up credit issues or learning to save for larger purchases. This service is provided through an initiative of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal government agency.  The program is managed through a contract with the Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC) and is free.

To access this service, you can call either office to make an appointment, however walk-ins are also accepted.

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