Divvy, a bike-share service now owned and operated by Lyft, will partner with several local organizations to run an education and job training program for students interested in learning about the city’s bicycle industry.
The bike-mechanic training program will be run with the help of West Town Bikes, Blackstone Bicycle Works, and SAFER Foundation. For years, all three organizations have worked to build educational and service programming that their communities need.
Students and other young Chicagoans will get the chance to learn advanced bicycle mechanics and shop management, along with other skills like personal finance, resume writing, and business planning, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Each cohort will have between eight to 12 participants who are then guaranteed an interview for positions at Divvy and will be prioritized in the hiring process. In the next three years, Divvy expects it could add around 200 new jobs as it expands the number of bikes and stations across the city. The $50 million expansion is expected to bring 10,500 electric, pedal assist bikes and 175 stations which nearly doubles the number of current bikes.
This year, West Town Bikes is celebrating 15 years of youth bicycle programs like biking clubs, apprenticeships, cyclocross coaching, and mechanic training with a bike festival fundraiser in Humboldt Park. Alex Wilson, West Town Bikes founder and executive director, previously told Curbed Chicago that the core of their mission relies on “using bikes as tools to build communities.”