Since being established 25 years ago, the Greater West Town Training Partnership (GWTP) has trained and placed some 900 low-income adults with jobs in Chicago-area woodworking firms.
Doug Rappe, GWTP program coordinator and a member of the Illinois Urban Wood Utilization Team, has been involved with GWTP since its inception in 1993. The Woodworking Machinery Industry Association honored Rappe for his long-standing commitment to workforce development with its prestigious Educator of the Year Award in 2014.
GWTP is part of the Greater West Town Community Development Project, a not-for-profit entity that gets its funding from a variety of public agencies and charitable foundations. In addition to woodworking, GWTP offers a hands-on shipping and receiving training program. The two training programs each occupy space in a 55,000-square-foot facility that formerly housed an envelope manufacturer located at 500 N. Sacramento Blvd.