People-Based. Market-Driven.


Cara Chicago launches Cara Plus to expand its reach and impact

July 10, 2019

Cara Chicago has launched a new entity Cara Plus to share its workforce development services approach with partner organizations in other cities.

Cara initially tested an expansion model with Lutheran Social Services in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2016, co-creating LSSI Works, a workforce development program steeped in the Cara methodology. In Atlanta, Cara has now launched a second affiliate partnership with Atlanta Mission, the city’s largest and longest-running provider of homeless services.

Cara’s “intense, well-defined, and well-measured process” is designed to help people affected by poverty get and keep quality jobs. This process includes classroom training, to build participants’ workplace competencies and personal brand, along with workshop coaching to unpack life challenges and develop tools and practices to face and overcome them.

Employment social enterprises, including its staffing firm Cara Connects, offer transitional job experiences to put classroom skills to meaningful practice on the job. And retention supports throughout their first year position participants for long-term success.

Using this approach, Cara achieves one-year retention rates of 70% for permanent placements. The creation of Cara Plus is a way for Cara to expand its services to new markets through affiliate partners in other cities. As Cara President and CEO states, “We spent nearly 30 years creating a pathway out of poverty, now let’s pave the road.”

Concurrent with its expansion to Atlanta, Cara is also introducing Cara Institute, multi-day immersive trainings and workshops that will share Cara’s best practices and best failures with other workforce development professionals to promote mutual learning.

We congratulate Cara as they embark on these new initiatives to amplify their collective reach and impact!

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