About Urban Growers Collective

Urban Growers Collective (UGC) was founded by Laurell Sims and Erika Allen in the fall of 2017. Rooted in Growing Food, we cultivate nourishing environments which support health, economic development, healing and creativity through urban agriculture. Our approach is to demonstrate and support development of community- based food systems where produce is grown, prepared, and distributed within neighborhoods. In this way, communities help themselves by learning how to provide for their own needs in a sustainable manner.

UGC is built upon the foundation of Growing Power, a nonprofit organization and land trust established in Milwaukee, WI in 1993. Growing Power operated its urban farming and education non-profit for 25-years before closing its doors in the Fall of 2017. The Growing Power Chicago branch was established in February 2002, to address the need for scalable food system models that were inclusive, impactful, and economically viable. After Growing Power closed, Chicago’s leadership team, committed to continuing the legacy of Growing Power, formed UGC to build upon our 15-years of successes creating thriving urban farms and training programs in Chicago.

UGC tackles food insecurity through a variety of programming. Our portfolio of programs includes: the Fresh Moves Mobile Market; Farmers for Chicago, our job-readiness program which trains over 300 teens annually, 30 formerly incarcerated adults through an 18-month job-training program, as well as our Incubator Farmer program which provides land and technical assistance for new Chicago farmers; our head- start preschool farm which serves over 150 preschoolers and their families; and finally, we provide education to a larger audience through a series of agriculture, small business development, and equality building workshops. Our core values honor shared leadership and collective decision making; racial, economic, gender and LGBTQ equity; and employee well-being: we have witnessed how these values lead to thoughtful, holistic programming and yield environments that nourish and create prosperity.

If you are looking for internship opportunities, please click here.

*Last updated: May 21, 2018


Job Description: Fresh Moves Outreach CDL Driver

Position Description:  Urban Growers Collective Fresh Moves Mobile Market Program seeks an experienced driver. Fresh Moves stops are each 90 – 120 minutes with approximately 15 – 20 stops each week. Fresh Moves operates year-round, with the exception of holidays, and a two-week break between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This position is currently part-time, with potential of full-time employment. View the full job description here.


  • Drive to community-based Fresh Moves bus stops in accordance with our weekly schedule; communicate with site coordinators to ensure safe and accessible parking for the bus.
  • Keeping the bus on schedule for each site;
  • Fuel bus daily and inspecting all buses to schedule regular maintenance;
  • Support sales and outreach at each site as needed, ensure that customers can get on the bus easily and that produce, boxes and debris does not inhibit the pathway;
  • Transportation of produce from local farms, farmers markets, wholesalers and other suppliers;
  • Assist with stocking bus with produce and support inventory and quality assurance of produce in collaboration with sales staff; Must have the ability to lift 40 pounds; and
  • When buses are out-of-service, drivers may be given the opportunity to work on the farm for additional hours if requested.


  • Applicant must have an excellent driving record and their CDL license must be current. Must include an air brake endorsement.
  • Driver must be dependable and on time;
  • Knowledge of produce handling and wholesale food operations is helpful, but not necessary;
  • Excellent Communication skills — must be able to assist customers in a kind and thoughtful way, as well as communicate with supervisors and site managers to address issues.
  • Ability to problem solve difficult situations and take feedback.
  • Competency working with communities of color and diverse workplace; enjoys working with people.

Please send resume and three professional references to: Fresh Roberson, fresh@urbangrowerscollective.org.


Job Description: Summer Youth Program Instructor, Bridgeport

Position Description:
The Youth Program Instructor will specifically focus on providing instruction during the Urban Growers Collective Youth Corps Sumer Program, a six-week program focused on farming, community food system development and leadership opportunities. The Youth Program Instructor will co-facilitate large group activities for 30 teens and provide lead instruction and supervision sessions of up to 15 teens. The standard program model runs 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, with additional prep time allotted.

Bridgeport Farm Instructor: Looking for an individual with experience working with young people and the ability to teach a multidisciplinary youth program at a medicinal flower and herb farm. Will lead teens in daily farm work and facilitate workshops on science, nutrition, hunger, cooking, work readiness, food justice and food politics activities. Ability to travel and work on the farm, as needed. Priority will be given to candidates with experience creating added-value products from farm products such as: salsa, pickles, hot sauce, dried herbs, tinctures, oils, herbal teas, beauty products, etc. This farm is located at 1200 W. 35th St, Chicago, IL.

Download the full job description here.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Recruitment, supervision and orientation of Youth Corps participants
  • Independently deliver UGC curriculum to up to 17 students in a farm setting
  • Co-facilitate large group activities for up to 35 teens
  • Maintain organized student paperwork and daily attendance (paper and online)
  • Communicate with parents when teens are absent or late to program
  • Coordination and planning of summer lesson plans and curriculum in partnership with Associate Director of Trainings
  • Report incidents or challenges to supervisors and complete necessary paperwork
  • Assist with farm work management, community outreach and production goals as needed

Desired Qualifications:

  • Youth leadership development experience and skills
  • Experience teaching in an interactive, project-based environment
  • Interest and knowledge of food systems and organic sustainable farming
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with teens, parents, community partners and residents
  • Excellent organization, communication and follow-through skills
  • Maintains appropriate professional boundaries in working with teens
  • Ability to think critically and creatively
  • Ability to work as part of a team in a collaborative environment
  • Passion for food justice, dismantling racism, youth development, and urban farming

Duration: This is a seasonal, part time position, for 7 weeks, June 2018-August 2018 (exact dates TBD).

Hourly, commensurate with experience (average $18-$25/hour)

Please send resume, cover letter and three professional references to Lauralyn Clawson: lauralyn@urbangrowerscollective.org.

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and position will remain open until filled. Please note that the Youth Corps Program starts in June.

UGC provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity,  national origin, age, disability or genetics.

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