Working Bikes is partnering with Lyft to create the Community Mechanic Training Program (CMTP), a series of workshops designed to teach community members essential bike mechanic skills! The goal of this program is to help train up future bike mechanics, focused specifically on folks who have barriers to employment and historical underrepresentation in the bicycle industry. Starting in last 2021, Working Bikes staff hosted information sessions for community members to learn more about the CMTP. Recruitment for program members is focused on the neighborhoods surrounding our shop, including North Lawndale, Little Village, and Pilsen. To do this, we’re speaking directly with customers, volunteers, and our neighborhood partners to get the word out about the program!
The first cohort of mechanics in training have already started getting their hands dirty! Xail and Sarah have been leading the group in some of bike 101 basics, including tool and part identification, flat fixes, and the beginning bike systems. After 6 weeks, the mechanics will be ready to seek out employment throughout the city’s network of bike shops, as well as with our program partners at Lyft/Divvy! The second cohort will begin later this month and will be focused on working with Spanish speaking community members. We’re excited to share skills with and support the growing number of bike mechanics in our community! We’ll be sure to takes plenty of photos along the way!