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CHICAGO (WLS) -- Skills for Chicagoland's future is a nonprofit solely focused on getting you ready to work, and has seen success placing unemployed and underemployed people into new jobs, even during the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, Audra Williams used her people skills working in the hospitality industry.

Now she works at the Morgan Park Blue Cross Blue Shield Center on the South Side.

"It really means everything to me. And that's really coming from the heart," Williams said.

Williams said she found meaningful work by connecting with Skills for Chicagoland's Future.

"It gave me a level of confidence back, because it's a tough job searching for a job," she said.

Marie Trzupek Lynch founded the nonprofit in in 2009 during the Great Recession.

"Back in 2009, I don't think we ever envisioned unemployment could ever get as high as it is now," Lynch said.

That's why her team works hard to help the many people who have been looking for work.

"We've been working six and a half days a week because we feel like we are the emergency room for the unemployed," she said.

Williams said Skills helps with resume building, interview coaching, and job referrals, and they have partnerships with local employers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rush Hospital and more.

"Those long term relationships are really important right now because, frankly, the employers are getting thousands of applicants," Lynch said.

"They follow you from point A to point Z," Williams said.

According to Skills, they've placed hundreds of people during the last three months.

"We're able to coach and able to prepare our candidates to be able to actually come in and get that job," Lynch said.

Skills for Chicagoland's Future is a free resource. They can help connect you with open jobs right now. Anyone unemployed or underemployed is encouraged to reach out.

To find out more, head to their website

Open jobs can be found here at

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Listen to Episode 36 of Blue Rush: Can the Giants Win in Chicago? feat. Ahmad Bradshaw

The Giants will look to get in the winning column Sunday in Chicago against the Bears. Beating the Steelers was a tall task for Big Blue, but taking down this Bears team is certainly doable. The Giants showed some promising signs and were very much in the football game at MetLife Stadium against Pittsburgh in Week 1. If they correct some mistakes and avoid key turnovers, they could get to 1-1. To break down the game and all the Giants news and nuggets from this week, we bring you a brand new episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast with beat writer Paul Schwartz and two-time Giants Super Bowl champion kicker Lawrence Tynes.

Tynesie and Paul open up the podcast getting into the comments made by former Pro Bowl Giants running back Tiki Barber about Saquon Barkley. The guys talk about the importance of pass protection and how Barber is not wrong on Barkley’s struggles when it comes to that. Head coach Joe Judge said sometimes a team needs encouragement and a “come to Jesus” moment. Tynes likes that the players are speaking the same kind of language as the coach and thinks it is a good sign for Judge. The guys then get into this week’s matchup in the Windy City against the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky was magical in the fourth quarter in Week 1, but he’s still Trubisky and the Giants have a shot to win this game. Tynes and I take the Giants to win, while Schwartz picks the Bears.



In the first edition of “Tynes Time,” the 2-time Super Bowl champ takes us into being called “LT” by Hall of Famer Harry Carson. It didn’t come easy, though…for obvious reasons.

Tynes’ teammate with the Giants and a fan favorite, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, then joins the show. We open talking Super Bowl 46, Bradshaw scoring the touchdown and Tynes jokingly being frustrated with him scoring and not letting him seal it with a field goal. The two-time Super Bowl champ gets into pass protection, how he had to work at it and how Barkley can improve at doing it. The “fire” in the earth, wind and fire backfield also gets into how he ran angry when he played, what he appreciated about playing with Eli Manning and he looks back to his most memorable play as a Giant being his 88-yard run in Buffalo in some nasty weather on Dec. 23, 2007 in a must-win game. Bradshaw also discusses being part of that how him, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward connected and leaving the Giants for the Colts, which he did not want to do…but it’s a business.

Catch up on all episodes of “Blue Rush,” a New York Giants podcast, by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Follow Lawrence Tynes and Paul Schwartz on Twitter @lt4kicks and @NYPost_Schwartz. The next episode of the show drops Monday following the Giants-Bears game with special guest Tiki Barber. 

Filed under ahmad bradshaw ,  new york giants ,  podcasts ,  9/18/20

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