Now Open: Aspire Career Academy

Aspire is thrilled to announce that we opened the doors to the Aspire Career Academy!

The state-of-the-art Aspire Career Academy will enable us to help provide individuals with disabilities the life-changing opportunity to pursue their career passions, participate in the economy, and experience a higher quality of life and satisfaction.

Across the United States and especially in Illinois, there’s a growing desire for people with disabilities, including young people graduating from high school, to work in the community – not in “segregated” sheltered workshops. At the same time, a growing number of companies, like Aspire partners Compass Group, CBRE, Office Depot OfficeMax, Essendant and Walgreens, are recognizing this population represents a great “untapped” labor resource.

The Aspire Career Academy demonstrates a viable market-driven alternative to sheltered workshops. It houses job training in key industries that can most benefit from this labor force:

  • Food Service/Culinary
  • Hospitality/Healthcare
  • Office Skills/IT
  • Retail
  • Warehousing/Supply Chain


Being the first-of-its-kind, the Aspire Career Academy is serving as an innovative model that other disability nonprofits across the nation can emulate as they, too, look to evolve their sheltered workshop programs to help thousands of people secure community-based jobs.

We’re planning a Grand Opening celebration for October 2017 when we’ll bring the community together to celebrate this exciting, life-changing initiative. We hope you’ll join us!

We couldn’t do this without the support of many partners, including Designs for Dignity, Urban Innovations, tvsdesign, Coleman Foundation and First Nonprofit Foundation. Thank you to the Village of Hillside.

For corporate partnership inquiries, enrollment information, or to schedule a tour, contact Herb Washington, VP of Aspire Careers and Aspire Kids.

See photos of the space on Facebook!





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