Chicago Public Schools graduates could have an advantage landing interviews for jobs with the city, whether it be tree trimming or fighting fires.
Under a new iniatiative announced Saturday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, the Department of Human Resources will make sure CPS graduates are among at least 20 percent of job applicants they refer to city department managers.
But, the department managers must first specify that they want the CPS graduate preference applied to their pool of applicants, said city spokeswoman Caroline Weisser.
And, the program does not guarantee the grads will get the job, Weisser said.
“But it provides them a leg up in that process,” she said.
Emanuel’s office touted the program as a way to discourage CPS students from dropping out of school.
The CPS graduation rate has been on the rise in recent years, peaking last year at 60.6 percent.
“From cradle to career … we are committed to helping our students succeed every step of the way,” Emanuel said in a press release.
The program — which applies to any city job — is modeled after an initiative that applies to U.S. military veterans.
Like the veterans program, managers who supply a list of criteria to human resources when seeking job applicants would say whether they want the CPS grad preference program applied, Weisser said. They would then consider that detail along with such other factors as college degrees or special skills.
Weisser said the program applies to any CPS graduate, not just recent grads. It’s unclear how many CPS graduates already hold city jobs, although Weisser said that figure will now be tracked.
CPS head Jean-Claude Brizard lauded the city initiative in a press release.
"We are encouraged by this step taken by the city to encourage our students to strive each day and work towards their diploma,” Brizard said in the release.Copyright © 2015, CT Now