Edie Jacobs passes it forward

The Austin resident has helped many people find jobs after helping her own son secure work

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By Lee Edwards

Contributing Reporter

Austin resident Edie Jacobs, a retired probation officer, has spent her time and energy over the last two years toward successfully finding new employment opportunities, along with reliable transportation, for Austin residents. 

The inspiration behind Jacob's philanthropy was born of frustration over her son's inability to find local employment after returning home from six years of detainment. She said because he found it so difficult to secure stable employment in Chicago she would travel with him to temp agencies in the nearby suburbs to find something suitable, but still to no avail. 

Fortunately, after moving out of Chicago, he was able to find a suitable opportunity. Jacobs said she now wants to "look out for our people". 

"Jobs weren't open then like they are now so now there's no excuse that you have an X on your back," said Jacobs. "There are jobs that will hire you."

Individuals interested in contacting Jacobs for work reach her by phone or visit her at an office provided by the Westside Health Authority, located at 5422 W. Division, to discuss what opportunities are available. 

Currently, she has partnerships with Greencore Group's office in Romeoville and the Handi-Foil Corporation center in Wheeling, where she sends vans full of workers Monday through Friday. 

Riders headed toward Romeoville meet at the pick-up location at the corner of S. Cicero Ave. & Jackson Blvd at 1 p.m. to ensure riders are able to arrive to work on time for their 2 p.m. shift.  

Jacobs was able to secure her working partnership because of her ability to capitalize on her networking opportunities. She explained that the working relationship with Handi-Foil was initiated through networking with someone at her church, First Baptist Institutional Church, 4220 W. 18th St., who had previously worked there.

The partnership with Greencore Group was formed through a chance meeting with a job coach in Englewood, who she said connected her to the HR department at Greencore Group; and the drivers and vans responsible for taking the workers to and from their destinations was facilitated through the Westside Health Authority's "Every Block A Village" initiative.

Often working by herself, Jacobs said that she does not typically receive any financial support or payment for her efforts. She said a new van would be a big help. Ultimately, she said, she wants to connect more people with more jobs within Chicago. 

"I feel good to know that I can do this, I can help somebody," said Jacobs. "I have people call me all day, every day, or come to me all day, but if I could help just one I have helped somebody and I feel good about it."

CONTACT: leeme117@gmail.com  

Reader Comments

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Ka Ge  

Posted: November 6th, 2017 8:23 PM

Thank you Ms. Jacob for being a great example of a true servant for Jesus Christ. Your a true leader, role model and one of God's loving chosen vessals. Appreciate your love, hard work and courageous fight to get our people in a better position. Your amazing. Much love from KG , Black Workers Matter and CASE.

Lisa Pintado-Vertner  

Posted: November 6th, 2017 11:11 AM

Ms. Jacobs has been a strong leader in fighting discrimination in employment. As one of the first community members of the Coalition Against Segregation of Employees she has help to open the door to jobs for Westsiders. Stay strong! Lisa, Dan, Keia

Willie Stovall  

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 10:21 AM

Edie Jacobs is a no nonsense person who gets at the core of the problem and gets the job done. Keep up the good work for the people. Westside Bill

Celeste Cleveland from Spokane  

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 8:47 AM

Wow! What a blessing you are to help out people in need of jobs.The best part is having a van to get them to work on time,I pray that someone donates to this cause, you are an amazing woman Mrs. Edie Jacobs! God bless you.?

Darnell Watson  

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 6:43 AM

The work Edie Jacobs is doing benefits the person and the community. It benefit the person because they feel better about themselves which increases their self-esteem, and it benefit the community by decreasing the potential for thief and violence. Her dedication and tireless efforts I commend. What her efforts has shown me and hopefully others is that one person can make a difference.

Percy Giles from Lynwood  

Posted: November 2nd, 2017 2:09 PM

I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Edie Jacobs for a year and half . I find that she is passionate about helping people find employment ; especially the former incarcerated. Her love for God is evidence by her love for her neighbor. (Mark 12:31). May God continue to bless you Mrs. Jacobs.

Cj Wright Sr.  

Posted: November 2nd, 2017 1:43 PM

Ms. Edie Jacobs can be a poster child for the city of Chicago, in particular, the Westside of Chicago, where the NEED of employment is great for our youth and young adults on this side of town. When I read the article about Ms. Edie Jacobs I could not help but think about these words: "...am I my brother's keeper?" and Jesus saying, "if you have done it unto the least of these..." One thing about Ms. Jacobs that must be noted is that she is always inviting others to share and assist in this work that God has called her too. In my book, she truly produces fruit for the glory of God. submitted by Rev. CJ Wright, Christ Lutheran Church & School located on the Westside of Chicago

Toni Beall  

Posted: November 2nd, 2017 11:17 AM

With ALL the hard work this lady is putting into helping others with NO pay, the Alderman, Mayor and any other important person (s) should look into HELPING Edie by donating vans, equipment and anything else needed to help Edie help others while promoting her time & energy along with pay!

Karen Purnell  

Posted: November 2nd, 2017 10:34 AM

Way to go Edie, this is much needed in our communities and for you to take on this task in your golden years when you could be relaxing says something about the person you are!!!! Keep up the wonderful work in your community and hopefully you will be an example for others to do in their communities!!!!

Toni Beall  

Posted: November 2nd, 2017 8:41 AM

Edie is an AWESOME person! To go out of her way to help and support other people. Not a lot of older men or women have time to be bothered with young people or find them jobs as crazy as the world is today! WAY TO GO EDIE!!!

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