After months of rigorous training and development, all five members of this year’s Green ReEntry cohort graduated from the program. On Thursday, November 12, the cohort came together one last time, dressed to impress in brand new suits, to celebrate their accomplishments with friends, family and community leaders.
Each graduate received a Green ReEntry certificate of completion, along with Level 1 Carpentry Certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research. As they received their certificates, the group shared heartfelt reflections on their experiences in what became “more than just a job-training program.”
Before learning to green-retrofit homes, the Green ReEntry crew underwent eight weeks of intensive coursework focused on carpentry fundamentals. They also developed critical “soft skills” that deepened their understanding of how to navigate the employment landscape.
Longtime leader Nathaniel ‘Hasan’ Smith made Green ReEntry history: he became the first program participant to earn a general contractor’s license, and was hired full-time by the local WJ Management Company. The other four crew members are also pursuing stable employment with WJ Management.
Several notable public officials attended the graduation in support of the cohort, including U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, State Senator Jacqueline Collins, Alderwoman Toni Foulkes. Each highlighted the powerful example of transformation that Green ReEntry program provides to communities both local and nationwide.
IMAN would like to thank the extraordinary funders whose support has made the Green ReEntry program’s growth possible: AlFaisal Without Borders Foundation, Islamic Relief USA, and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.