FFTI Overview2020-06-23T14:58:24+00:00

FFTI Overview


The Frontline Focus Training Institute (FFTI) delivers trainings and resources to help frontline workforce professionals build their capacity to better meet the employment needs of disadvantaged job seekers, low-income workers and employers.

Through the delivery of our hands-on, interactive trainings and workshops, we aim to:

  • Develop and enhance the skills, key competencies and knowledge of workforce professionals in order to increase job effectiveness
  • Decrease burnout and stimulate career growth within the workforce development field
  • Create an environment that fosters collaboration and networking among workforce professionals
  • Establish the workforce development field as an occupational destination



FFTI is the capacity building initiative of the Chicago Jobs Council, a 40-year old non-profit organization that aims to move people out of poverty through employment using on-the ground expertise, advocacy, and capacity building. The Jobs Council launched FFTI in 2003 based on community research that indicated workforce development staff lacked professional development opportunities. From its early beginning as a “brown bag” lunch series to our current catalog of course offerings, the Frontline Focus Training Institute is uniquely positioned to meet the professional training needs of the workforce development field as one of the only organizations in the Midwestern region dedicated to such a mission. To date, FFTI has trained over 4,000 workforce professionals from 700 different organizations.


FFTI offers over 25 different courses each year to support the professional development of frontline and leadership staff at workforce and related social service organizations. Frontline Focus trainings are extremely interactive and encourage experiential learning. Facilitators include experienced staff, expert consultants, and leaders in the field.


FFTI also offers customized trainings to organizations across the country to support their professional development. We can train your entire staff using one of our existing curricula, combine topics to create a more tailored experience, or develop something entirely new to fit your organization’s needs. We are also available to present at workshops or conferences hosted by your agency. Pricing for customized training is negotiable and based on multiple factors including time, content, preparation, and travel. Contact Ashley Hamilton, Program Associate, at ashley@cjc.net with your professional development needs and we’ll work with you to create a meaningful training experience!


Unless otherwise specified, all training courses take place at the Chicago Jobs Council offices. This location is accessible by numerous forms of public transportation including several CTA train and bus lines, as well as the Metra. Parking is also available at nearby garages.



Our training facility is fully wheelchair accessible. If you have special needs, please contact Cheryl Hester to determine how we can best assist you.



Breakfast and lunch are provided for full day trainings. Breakfast will be provided for half-day trainings. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please contact Cheryl Hester.


Registration is available online at our website. Registrations are accepted on a rolling basis until each training has reached its maximum capacity of 25 people. For high-demand courses, enrollment may be limited to two practitioners from a single agency.


Payment can be made by credit card online at the time of registration. Checks can be mailed and made payable to the Chicago Jobs Council. If payment is not received within a week after your scheduled course, you will be subject to a $25 late fee on top of your original registration fee.


Full or partial scholarships are available, please contact Cheryl Hester to apply.


All cancellation and refund requests must be made in writing and should be emailed to Cheryl Hester. Full refunds will only be given if the cancellation request is received 24 hours in advance of the training. There will be no refunds for students who withdraw after a training has started. If the original registrant cannot attend the training, a coworker from the same organization may take their place. Finally, FFTI reserves the right to cancel or postpone training based on insufficient registration, inclement weather or other unforeseen emergencies. In such rare instances, refunds will be given to all registered participants.


For any other questions, please contact Cheryl Hester at cheryl@cjc.net.