Westside Works was proudly founded in the historic Vine City neighborhood in 2014. Many Atlantans are familiar with the largest and most notable project that was supported from its inception, the build-out of the Mercedes Benz Stadium whereby residents received training and credentialing in construction trades that led to employment. More than 700 residents have graduated from the program, placed into full-time living-wage jobs, and have collectively earned more than $20 million in wages for themselves and their families.
Training & Services
Since then, Westside Works has expanded its training and services to include a holistic menu; offering community-based resources, educational classes, training programming, and rapid placement to meet the needs of all metro Atlanta Job Seekers.
Westside Works emphasizes five, core high-demand career pathways: Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Transportation, Distribution, Logistics (TDL), Healthcare, and Skilled Trades. These pathways have been identified as Georgia’s high growth and high-demand sectors. Programs and Curriculums are designed in collaboration with employers to rapidly train new talent pipelines with qualifying job credentials that are essential to successfully get jobs that can turn into amazing careers.
Westside Works is committed to connecting residents to equitable, high-demand opportunities.
One person, One household, One community at a time.
Westside Works Advisory Council
Supported by its diverse Advisory Council representing several industry sectors and varied demographics, Westside Works is comprised of experienced workforce development professionals, community representatives, and program alumni committed to creating and promoting opportunities for customers to advance their economic mobility.
Georgia Institute of Technology
2023 – 2024 Council Chair
Christopher Burke is an educator, strategist, and public relations professional with more than twenty-years of experience in education, urban planning, and community development. Chris began his professional career working as a housing coordinator for The Atlanta Project, a non-profit created by former President Jimmy Carter focused on improving living conditions in some of Atlanta’s most challenged neighborhoods. It was this experienced that spurred Chris’s interest in understanding the impact housing policies have on equity and quality of life.
Chris continued his career joining the research staff at the American Planning Association (APA) where he was a contributing writer for APA Publications including Zoning News, PAS Memo, and Planning Magazine. While at APA Chris’s research centered on zoning as an economic development tool to improve quality of life indicators such as access to food, transportation, and employment opportunities. In 1999 Chris joined the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association as a Government Affairs Representative and in the fall of 2003 was appointed Vice President of Government Affairs where he remained until November 2010. In April 2011, Chris joined the Georgia Tech Office of Government and Community Relations as Director of Community Relations, and in 2019 became the Executive Director of Community Relations. In this position Chris works with local government, educators, religious, business, and civic leaders to assure that Tech plays an integral part enriching the metro-Atlanta region, particularly the communities closest to campus. He also teaches an undergraduate sociology course in the Georgia Tech Honor’s Program that explores the challenges prevalent for low-income black students in Atlanta Public Schools. As part of Georgia Tech 10-year Strategic Plan, Chris was selected to co-lead developing an anchor institution strategy to guide the Institute’s community engagement efforts over the next decade.
Chris is a 2014 graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute and 2019 graduate of Leadership Atlanta, and a 2021 Anchor Institution Task Force Fellow. He holds a BA in Sociology and MPA in Urban Administration from Clark-Atlanta University.
Our tuition-free training programs and services offer the credentials and coaching needed to jumpstart your career and advance skills in multiple high-demand industries. Access a personalized career building experience tailored to support you, your family, and neighbors.
We are here to serve!
Mission and Vision
The mission of Westside Works is to connect Atlanta residents to equitable, high-demand opportunities one person, one household, one community at a time. Our vision is to be a trusted resource and gateway to Good Jobs with livable wages.
Partners & Funders
We thank our partners and funders for making this work possible!