Red Lobster, Wicker Park’s Mirai Sushi, and Lincoln Park punk bar Delilah’s are three seemingly disparate venues. However, they have something in common—all three have hired graduates of American Professional Bartending Schools of Illinois to mix their drinks and man their bars. The schools have been landing graduates at notable Chicago establishments for more than 60 years, but their connection with alums doesn’t end with their first gig. Graduates receive lifetime, personalized job-placement assistance and can call the school’s career hotline 24 hours a day to find out about job openings or trade meatloaf recipes.
The schools' focus on employment also shows in their bartending classes, which are modeled after on-the-job training and led by teachers with an average of more than 20 years of industry experience. Taught at bars complete with realistic faux liquor, the sessions cover topics from mixology to presentation and etiquette.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Under the watchful eye of a licensed professional, John Amico School of Hair Design's trained cosmetology pupils prove their hair-snipping, shaping, and taming skills with a wide variety of salon services. With the Amino Amplex treatment (a $150–$250 value depending on thickness and length), one of the school's student-stylists de-frizzes damaged hair with a formaldehyde-free formula, straightening and shining locks with an elixir concocted from amino acids and a vial of Rapunzel's tears. The father-and-son-owned cosmetology school teaches its disciples to complete the process in between three and four hours, upon which clients will sport a straighter, more relaxed style for up to three months.
In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
As patio umbrellas shield a row of tables from the summer sun, rows of thick, green trees—or perhaps thousands of patio umbrellas—outline the horizon, looming past the undulating fairways and greens of Coyote Run Golf Course. Here at Wiley's Grill, golfers can rest their weary legs after a hot afternoon on the links or even during the winter, warming up on cups of turkey chili and craft beer next to the indoor fireplace. While enjoying an Angus burger or plate of tangy glazed salmon, patrons can watch TVs broadcasting Chicago sports before honing their skills on the indoor golf simulator.
Tristan Warwick's piano skills have earned him everything from gigs on Chicago’s Radio WFMT series to more than 100 first place honors in numerous piano competitions. Drawing on more than 20 years as a pianist, Tristan helps ready the next generation of expert ivory ticklers at Palos Heights Piano. During 15, 30, or 60-minute lessons, he teaches students of all ages everything from navigating their way around a keyboard to how to decipher and play a Bach fugue. Once a year, Tristan invites his pupils to don semiformal attire and showcase their newly refined skills during a formal concert for family and friends.