Chicago networking service helps moms rejoin workforce

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Motherhood is a full-time job, and many moms either choose or are forced to give up their careers to care for their families.

A new Chicago networking service is making it easier for moms and even some dads to rejoin the work force.

When Blair Lock founded Chicago-based Coapt Engineering, he had dreams of growing a business while helping amputees. In several years, he's successfully done both and realized a couple of months ago, he needed some help.

"We really were at a point where we needed some expert help in bookkeeping, finance, accounting, social media," Lock said. "There was a number of things that were suitable for part-time or, kind of, half-time work."

Lock connected with a new startup: The Mom Project. It helps moms who are looking for temporary, part-time, or flexible-schedule work.

"These moms are incredibly experienced and they're wonderfully talented and they're looking for the right-sized position, which we felt we could offer," Lock said.

The networking service has been around only since April, but already it has an applicant pool of 5,000 moms, and some dads, along with 100 registered Chicago businesses.

"I wanted to create an alternative career path for women like me who want to stay meaningfully engaged in the workforce, but have more time at home with children as well," said Allison Robinson, CEO and founder of The Mom Project.

That's how Coapt found Melina Harvey-Read. The mom of two has been home with her boys since the family relocated from Miami to Chicago, but had a robust career in accounting only a few years earlier.

"It's not your typical 9-5," Harvey-Read said. "I can have the flexibility if I need to leave early, pick up my child from school, pick them up from daycare. I have that option. So, it's very flexible. It's great."

And Coapt is happy with the match, too.

Job-seekers and employers can register with The Mom Project for free. Employers only pay a fee if they decide to make a hire.
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