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Empowering Women: Beyond Jobs

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Goodwill Industries of Lane and South Coast Counties and Alaska teamed up with a nationwide program aimed at finding work for women.

But the program is so much more than finding a job.

Let me give you some details.

The money for the program comes from a grant through the Walmart Foundation that recognized only about 74% of the women who lost jobs during the recession were able to get back into the labor force, and often times those jobs were not jobs that could support a family.

That’s why the Walmart Foundation established the grant.

Goodwill Industries International administers the funds and our local Goodwill is one of 45 Goodwills involved in the program.

Goodwill of Lane and South Coast Counties are in the top four of all Goodwills participating in terms of reaching, or surpassing, our goals.

The hope was to enroll 280 women in the first year of the program, which started in December of 2012.

We ended up with 347 women enrolled.

“Beyond Jobs” is more than a program to help someone find employment.

Sure, clients are taught how to interview, and how to build a cover letter and a resume.

But where the “Beyond Jobs” program really stands out is its connections in the community and support from local businesses.

Women in the program are taught to find the jobs that aren’t listed yet.

Program Coordinator Allison Van Wey says: “a lot of the women come into the program defeated, exhausted and overwhelmed by the job hunting process. We give them self confidence and empower them with the skills it takes, not just to find a job but to live a better life.”

Looking for a job is a two way street. Clients are taught to interview their potential employer to make sure the job is a good fit for them.

Clients range from women who are homeless to women with bachelors and master degrees.

Beyond Jobs is a two-year program and even though they have surpassed their enrollment goals, new clients can still sign up.

You need be motivated and willing to work to succeed.

For more information, you can call Allison Van Wey at 541-431-3341 or email her at allisonv@goodwill-oregon.org.

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