TransTech recently relaunched our programming to offer an environment that fostered skill building and job placement. Our intentions were to create a buy in to our programming, one that created responsibility, and we tied that to a monthly fee.The cost was going to be $99 per month and per person, and was also going to be offered through a sliding scale, scholarship and volunteering in lieu of payment. Through community feedback we have received and much reflection, we have decided to entirely remove the fee and offer our membership free of charge. Although we have limited space for members at this time, each member will have to sign an agreement that ensures that our environment is a safe and encouraging space where everyone can grow in their professional development. There still is a buy-in to this program, but it will be about personal commitment and reaching goals that will be set by the individual.
Even though the membership is now free of charge, our services and programs are still just as comprehensive and robust. We offer a professional office space that has WiFi, computers with the necessary software and facilitators to assist members with building marketable skills, and creating a resume and a professional portfolio. Our office is a collaborative working space that will also have contracted job bids in the digital creative services field.
First, a potential member has to fill out a membership application, and then attend an orientation where they will start working on their professional plan with our program coordinator. Each member has specific goals and benchmarks that they accomplish on their own approved timeline. Members are encouraged to try to gain new skills, use our video training through Lynda.com, and grow a portfolio of marketable skills. We focus on getting our members working on paid projects so we encourage skills like Graphic Design, coding, Web Design, social media management, content writing and administrative support skills. Also, a variety of educational workshops will be conducted by professionals who have expertise in those areas. Additionally, members will inducted into our mentorship program that offers one-on-one meetings to help them reach goals and make professional decisions.
We felt like it was turning people off to the program or creating stress for individuals who could not afford it even though we were offering it for less through a sliding scale, scholarships, and volunteer hours. It was originally about accountability and also for those who had the access or privilege to be part of the program.
If you recently applied and are in the Chicago area, we have notified you about this change and encourage you to join our upcoming orientation. If you have already done our orientation then please join us by signing your membership agreement. If you are outside of Chicago, we are still finding ways to connect you to our resources and training. We expect to have more online courses and workshops mid 2016.
We are trying to create another avenue, but since we have changed our membership structure, we no longer will offer the community level membership that was free and offered a drop in-day as well as access to our workshops. Depending on how many members we register and induct, this may change. So please stay tuned and join our newsletter, facebook and twitter for updates.