KRA Chicago Customer Cracks Code to New-Career Success!

Ida McCarty sold her food-production company in 2019, and hadn’t worked in IT for 16 years, but recently was proud to report, “Because of my…IT knowledge and experience in the food industry, I was hired by Mason Dixon Foods [as the] Director of Product Management, responsible for…IT integration and software design, operations, and production.  In 8 months, I went from being laid off due to COVID, to securing fulltime employment in upper management.”

Ms. McCarty’s success was made possible through the innovative collaboration of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership; KRA, the Chicago Codes Boot Camp (Chi Codes) Administrator; and Coding Temple, the Training Provider through which she received 10 weeks’ intensive instruction in the most popular coding languages, including CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

For the Partnership, KRA operates the Westside American Job Center (WAJC), as well as the Chatham Workforce and Education Center (CWEC), providing a wide range of WIOA-funded services and programs for un- and under-employed Adult, Dislocated, and Youth jobseekers.

For Chi Codes, “aimed specifically at Chicago’s African American and Latinx communities”, KRA provided oversight for program funding, assisted in job searches, provided labor-market information on employment opportunities, and offered subsidized OJT opportunities to potential employers as incentives for hiring entry-level coding professionals.

Within 5 months of program completion, 70% of the graduates found fulltime employment in customer service, data analysis, helpdesk, programming, and upper management positions.

Ms. McCarty concluded, [Chi Codes] “is the most challenging training that you will ever endure, but at the end you will have gained exponentially.”


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