Skills, Empowerment and Economic Development

Northern Illinois Food Bank’s workforce development program, S.E.E.D. (Skills, Empowerment & Economic Development), is a PAID 10-Week Training Program offering adults who are unemployed or underemployed valuable hands-on experience and beneficial certifications to improve employability.




Connect neighbors to job training and other services aimed at increasing their employability and attaining sustainability, growth-oriented employment, and to increase their long-term economic self-sufficiency.




Student Profile



  • Age 25+
  • Experiencing Food Insecurity
  • Unemployed or Underemployed
  • Living in Will County
  • Motivated to Learn
  • New or Experienced in Warehouse Industry


S.E.E.D. Program Overview


  • In-person Training
  • 10-Week; 6-8 Hour Sessions
  • Paid on-the-job Training
  • Coaching
  • Case Management
  • Job Placement Assistance

*New Sessions Available Quarterly

Program Benefits




  • OSHA 30-hour safety course
  • Forklift Certification
  • ServSafe Food Handler’s Certification
  • Resume writing, interview preparation, and job placement assistance
  • Hands on warehouse experience at 4 different distribution centers
  • Financial Literacy


Workforce Development Course Content





  • Intro to Warehouse Environment
  • Warehousing and Distribution Process
  • Warehouse Technology Applications
  • Representative Warehouse Applications
  • Intro to Supply Chain Management
  • Financial Literacy


Food Insecurity in Will County




  • Food deserts are prevalent in the northern and eastern sections of Will County.
  • Will County has a particularly high population with low food access (31.8%) compared to the state of Illinois (17.39%), coupled with the highest rates of “no motor vehicle” (over 8% in 60433-Joliet).



Priority Communities

Will County has the highest concentration of temporary employment agencies in the state.

  • Reports estimate that 70% of Chicagoland warehouses employ temporary workers rather than direct hires.
  • Workers report that in suburban Will County, where many warehouses are located, it is impossible to find work anywhere other than at a staffing agency.