CHICAGO — Billed as the city’s first “immigrant integration and job center,” PODER HQ received its ribbon cutting Friday.

According to the organization’s website, “PODER empowers individuals with the necessary academic tools to promote human dignity, increase employment potential, and facilitate participation in the larger community.” They do this through free English language education, civic tutoring, and job training and placement programs.

PODER’s roots trace back to Jan. 1997 when current CEO Daniel Loftus opened a small adult education center to serve parents of children in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Since that time more than 14,500 adult immigrants have been helped by its programs, according to its website.

The new building will serve as PODER’s regional headquarters and is located at 3357 W. 55th St. in the city’s Gage Park neighborhood.

Poder is the Spanish verb meaning “to be able to / can”.