Human Services Offering Free ‘Women to Work’ Program

By Gina Joseph

High prices on everything from gas, food, and children’s shoes have many women returning to the workforce.

Helping them navigate their way back is Gesher Human Services’ “Women to Work,” a free four-week program starting July 19.

“Any woman who has been out of the workforce for a while but is now concerned about her or her family’s finances, can gain invaluable employment-related support through ‘Women to Work’,” said Jason Charnas, director of business and career services at Gesher Human Services (formerly known as JVS Human Services and (Kadima).

The program, which consists of eight sessions held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, is aimed at women who are ready to return to the workforce including those who may have had their employment put on hold earlier in the pandemic, and who may be concerned about the current economic climate and inflation.

Research by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data showed that people felt their households’ current financial situation had deteriorated noticeably in May; they also felt they would be worse off a year from now.

This summer’s Women to Work program will include: :

• In-depth vocational assessment

• Employment-related group counseling and emotional support

• Information and referrals to support services

• Help with networking, resume writing & interviewing

• Financial management advice and stress management

“Modern tools in job searching, expert help in resume writing and networking and even stress management are all available to help metro Detroit women get the job they need and deserve, to help their families cope with current high inflation,” Charnas said.

Once participants complete the course they will continue to receive ongoing support including advice on career steps, other training opportunities, salary negotiations, and more. Since the “Women to Work” program began in the 1980s, it has changed thousands of women in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties, giving them vital tools to land a job quickly.

Even when the program has finished, Women to Work Coordinator Judy Richmond retains a connection with participants, some of whom meet regularly, creating their own informal support groups; others call Richmond for reassurance and advice on the next steps in their employment journeys or even provides guidance on college.

“During the program, women forge a bond with each other and with me, and I’m frequently asked what happens when the eight sessions end,” said Richmond. “I’m quick to reassure them that I’m not going anywhere and that they can meet me in person, on Zoom, or by phone as needed. There is no time limit.”


Image Source: Macomb Daily Wire Photo