About 741

The 741 Collaborative is a unique partnership founded in 2008 by seven successful and longstanding Chicago not-for-profit and community-based agencies. We traditionally work with employers and job seekers to promote employment and career opportunities for residents in Chicago’s culturally rich and historic South Lakefront communities of North Kenwood, Oakland, Douglas and Grand Boulevard. Since 2014, we have expanded those boundaries to include Hyde Park, Woodlawn, Washington Park, South Shore and Englewood. We work cooperatively to fulfill one shared mission: to improve access to local employment opportunities through workforce training, career development, internships and permanent job placement services with employers.
Our member agencies have over a century of combined experience serving Chicagoland families and their communities.
Operating together, the 741 Collaborative is managed jointly by its member agencies and governed by its Board of Directors. We are the only known collaborative in the United States that operates under a cooperative workforce development and job placement services model. It's a formula designed for success, but missing only 1 factor—you!


The Sum of Our Parts

Seven is not just a lucky number. It's also the number of our founding partners. We are a growing collaborative of Chicago non-profit agencies working in unison to provide employment opportunities for individuals in the South Lakefront communities of North Kenwood, Oakland, Douglas and Grand Boulevard. As direct service providers, our partner organizations work together to offer the right combination of recruitment and job placement services for every employer and job seeker we serve.
The 741 Collaborative consists of these partner organizations:

Centers for New Horizons

Founded in 1971, Centers for New Horizons, Inc. (CNH) is a NAEYC-accredited nonprofit organization that enables families to become self-reliant. With nearly 200 full-time staff, the Centers provide programs in 7 locations throughout Chicago's Bronzeville and Riverdale communities that reach over 1,000 individuals daily with workforce development, children and youth services, adult and family services and community building programs.

Cara Chicago

Founded in 1991, Cara Chicago (Cara) has evolved into a best-in-class job training and placement provider for adults affected by poverty and homelessness. Cumulatively, Cara has placed over 2,500 people into quality, permanent employment with a 1-year retention rate that averages 72%. Cara Chicago leverages its comprehensive range of training, support and job placement services for individuals seeking not only a job, but a better way of life.

The Financial Opportunities Center (FOC) consist of 12 community-based Chicago organizations that help families and individuals become more secure in 3 critical areas: employment, financial condition and improved access to public benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and provides job services and long-term case management (if needed) in addition to individual financial and tax counseling.

Chicago Urban League

Incorporated in 1917, the Chicago Urban League (CUL) provides African Americans, minorities and the disadvantaged with the tools, programs and experiences to help them reach their full economic potential. Through ProjectNext, Workforce Development and the League's Human Capital Development Department, employment and income levels are improved through industry-specific training programs and 2 full-service employment and training centers.

The Community Builders, Inc.

Established in 1964, The Community Builders (TCB) mission is to build and sustain strong Chicago communities where people can realize their full potential. TCB Chicago plans, develops, finances and operates high-quality affordable housing while also supporting neighborhood revitalization and offering financial coaching and career development through its site-based, specialized Ways & Means programs.

The Renaissance Collaborative, Inc.

The Renaissance Collaborative, Inc. (TRC) promotes self-sufficiency through an innovative and comprehensive network of supportive housing, employment, and educational services. Using an asset-based approach, the agency works in three distinct business areas:

-Renaissance Apartments Fitness for Life Center: Providing 101 units of comprehensive supportive services to chronically homeless adults that support their goal of achieving self-sufficiency.
-Senior Village: Three-building community designed to support seniors raising dependents.
-Bronzeville Green: A work force development agenda that features training and educational opportunities for employees and landscaping services to clients. Bronzeville Green is a part of our workforce development division.

Executive Committee

Wendy Walker-Williams
Executive Director, South East Chicago Commission
Wendy Walker Williams is the executive director of the South East Chicago Commission (SECC), a not for profit 501(c)3 organization located on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. Wendy is Read More
Lynette Frazier
Senior Manager, Supportive Services, The Cara Program
Lynnette Frazier currently serves as the Senior Manager of Supportive Services & Site Director with The Cara Program-Quad Communities Campus. Ms. Frazier stewards the development of community engagement, resource and Read More
Diane Burnham
Program Manager, Community Development, South East Chicago Commission
Diane Burnham began her career in nonprofit through the Public Allies program in Milwaukee, WI. She continued her career in Milwaukee over the next several years working with the YMCA Read More
Andre Kellum
Executive Director, 741 Collaborative
Mr. Kellum as Executive Director is responsible to support the 741 Collaborative new sustainability and strategic planning strategy and expand their current models for long-term success. He received his degree Read More
Andrew Wells
Director, Chicago Urban League
Andrew J. Wells has over a decade of not-for-profit experience in leadership, corporate and community relations, program management, and community development. One of his most notable accomplishments included helping more Read More
Robert White
Board President
Robert was selected as the first Board President in July 2015 and has been involved with the 741 Collaborative since 2008 through his work at The Cara Program, a workforce development organization Read More
Khari Humphries
Director of Community Life, The Community Builders, Inc.
  Khari serves as Director of Community Life for the Community Builders, Inc.  At the Community Builders, he manages partnerships with community leaders and local service providers to expand opportunities Read More
Christa Hamilton
Board Secretary
Christa Hamilton currently serves on the 741 Board of Directors and holds the office of Secretary. She was an integral part of the Executive Team that lead the effort for Read More
Felicia Dawson
Board Member
Felicia takes great pride in building bridges between community residents and resources as her life’s work. As a founding member of the 741 Collaborative Partnership, it only made sense to Read More
John Hess
Board Member
John Hess, is nationally recognized for his expertise on workforce solutions and employer based tax incentives, supporting for-profit and non-profit organizations as President of Hess Advantage Inc. John works with Read More

Our Affiliates

In addition to the 741 Partner Organizations, the collaborative also relies on an extended network of 741 Affiliate Organizations which provide us with additional resources, such as industry-specific coursework, community outreach and administrative support:

Center for Economic Progress

Founded in 1990, The Center for Economic Progress (CEP) helps hard-working, low-income families attain financial security. CEP provides free tax and financial services, operating one of the largest, longest standing free tax preparation programs in Illinois. To date, CEP has helped return $300 million in refunds to 200,000+ families. Each year, CEP helps nearly 1,000 students find and qualify for financial aid and countless individuals with year-round financial counseling.

The Quad Communities Development Corporation

The Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC) was formed in 2003 to strengthen and foster the south side communities of North Kenwood, Oakland and portions of Douglas and Grand Boulevard in Chicago. QCDC has been instrumental in providing school improvements, family and social supports, mixed-income housing and new retail development to the area. As part of its quality-of-life focus, QCDC works to expand job opportunities and training needed for long-term economic health.

South East Chicago Commission

Founded in 1952, The South East Chicgao Commission (SECC) is a community-based organization focused on enhancing the quality of life in five neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago: Hyde Park, Woodlawn, Washington Park, Kenwood, and Oakland.

The SECC pursues its mission through a number of programs and initiatives designed to make our communities more attractive places to live, learn, work, and play. Some of these programs focus specifically on economic development-by attracting new businesses to the area, for example, or by supporting existing businesses-while others monitor everything from building codes to liquor license applications to public transportation. Each year, we sponsor several community-wide events to celebrate and showcase our neighborhoods.
Governed by a board of community leaders, business owners, and neighborhood residents, the SECC works closely with residents and organizations throughout our communities to build consensus and advance our goals.


2014 741Collaborative Annual Review

2015 741 Collaborative Annual Review-4


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