Youth Workforce Development

Youth Workforce Development:
Chi-Lights Farm Corps

March 14-May 26, 2018

The Youth Workforce Development program provides high school youth in the Near North neighborhood and surrounding communities with the skills to grow fresh produce for themselves and others, transferable job skills, and insight to how food and food systems affect their daily lives.

Teens are onsite at the Urban Farm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and learn all the techniques central to growing food and maintaining an urban farm (watering, seeding, pruning, harvesting, compost making, working with power tools, etc.), customer service skills, nutrition and cooking knowledge,  self-efficacy and responsibility, and job skills—resume writing and mock interviews.

They also attend workshops that ask them to look at their connection to food and the nutritional, political, and environmental perspectives of food production.

Youth Workforce Development is an After School Matters program, and teens are paid a stipend if selected.


Interested teens must attend a Chicago Public Schools high school.

Apply online at and email Associate Director Ben Jaffe at stating their interest.

Spring program begins in early March (apply in January-February); summer program begins in early July (apply April-June) ; fall program begins early October (apply August-September).