Hey, you can help us spread the word! Share this site!

Intensive Training

Most Cleanslate interns are first students of The Cara Program.  To learn how to be accepted into The Cara Program, please click here

Once in Cleanslate, our interns’ work experience is defined by the following key parameters:

  • Training and Orientation: Before interns begin working on the streets, they attend an intensive full-week training on equipment, safety, recycling, standards of professionalism and overall education about the neighborhood we serve. 
  • Work Ethic:  Work ethic is one of the most significant outcomes Cleanslate interns gain from this experience.  Cleanslate crews establish aggressive productivity goals – including number of recyclable and trash bags to be collected each day.  To achieve the day’s goals – despite the weather, despite any neighborhood conflict or possible distractions on the street, despite any workforce challenges within the crew – requires a relentless work ethic.  Developing this skill truly increases each intern’s capacity to be “ready to work”.
  • Transferable Job Skills for Success in Any Position: The true results from Cleanslate translate far beyond the streets themselves.  Cleanslate Crew Chiefs teach interns the practical skills of cleaning; but they more importantly empower them with the professional skills of customer satisfaction, attention to detail and teamwork (for which they receive quantitative and qualitative evaluations each week).  Cleanslate interns are required to: (1) greet at least 100 customers on a daily basis; (2) teach residents and business leaders about the importance of recycling; (3) establish relationships with community members to contribute to a friendly, safe environment; and (4) model behavior for others to follow.

The Impact

Tons of Garbage Collected Since Inception learn more


Our Partner Programs

  • The CARA Program
  • TCP Staffing

Our Supporters and Customers

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Kellogg Company
  • Lurie Children's Hospital
  • Mariano's
  • Rebuilding Exchange
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Sodexo
  • Salvation Army
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Levy Restaurants
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Rivers Casino
  • Fitness Formula Clubs
  • Eataly Chicago
  • Housing Authority of Cook County
  • Catholic Charities
  • Harvard Maintenance Inc
  • Gotham Greens
  • Engineered Glass Products
  • Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives
  • SSA #32, Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation
  • SSA #42, South Shore Chamber Inc.
  • SSA #29, West Town Chamber of Commerce
  • SSA #33, Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce
  • SSA #35, Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce
  • SSA #34, Uptown United
  • Department of General Services – City of Chicago
  • Deborah’s Place
  • The Admiral at the Lake
  • The Community Builders
  • The Habitat Company
  • Big Buzz Entertainment Group – Chicago RibFest
  • 57th St. Children’s Book Fair
  • Pitchfork Music Festival

Partner Programs

fading overlay