Helix Café hopes to provide jobs to the unemployed youth of Illinois. A study of the University of Illinois reveals that 70% of the Chicagoans between the age of 16-24 do not have a job. Caitlin Botsios, Co-founder and Chief Innovative Officer of Helix Café, said, “Helix Café is a space where we build transferable skills and pathways for youth in Chicago”.
She added that unemployment, after school and during school, is economic stress for the youth. She also said that the main purpose of starting Helix Café was to help the youth in their community. Botsois and Sean Connolly initiated this business.
Sean Connolly, CEO of Helix Café, said, “It is not interesting for us to just run a coffee shop”. Connolly added, “We want to help others by utilizing and transferring our experience to them”. The employees of Helix Café go through six-month training in different fields. Helix Café run skill development programs for the youth. Connolly said, “We are working on the foundational skills in the first phase. We train the people on the specifics of this café, basic customer services, basics of food, basics of coffee, etc.”
Helix Café has 14 employees now and they age between 16-21. Kenya Farley, a college student, is one of the employees of Helix Café. Farley said, “We learn the things here which we should be taught in the school”. Farley added, “Other jobs just want you to work there and just work there for the rest of life, that’s not Helix’s goal.” The most important thing about the Helix Café is that it cares about the skill development of the employees.
Botsois said, “We work on the things like group sessions which help the employees to build the collaboration, teamwork, and time management.” The training program of Helix café helps the employees to adopt professional skills.