The Youth Job Center (YJC) has been selected by Gap Inc. to take part in its “This Way Ahead” program, which trains young workers for retail jobs and places them in paid internships.

The program will offer training and employment to 50 participants, who will be selected from Evanston Township High School, Roger C. Sullivan High School in Rogers Park and other programs.

This Way Ahead (TWA) gives young people the chance to prepare for and experience their first jobs, according to YJC.

TWA features three phases: job readiness classes on topics such as diversity and conflict resolution; paid internships at Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores; and months of follow-on support and guidance from nonprofit staff. The goal of the program is to help youth gain the skills and confidence to pursue their own career paths.

“I am thrilled the YJC has been chosen as a partner by Gap Inc.,” said YJC Executive Director Karen Tollenaar Demorest. “This program will enable us to prepare more youth for retail work and help them find their first jobs. We can give these young workers an increased level of support, which we know is so valuable for job retention and their long-term success.” 

The training sessions will start in December. The Gap will provide funding to the YJC to cover the costs of program operations.