Housing Research at the Urban Land Institute

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The Three-Phase Employment Model at CWEE

Center for Work Education and Employment pic
Center for Work Education and Employment
Image: cwee.org

An integrated education and employment program designed to support individuals in their search for long-term employment, the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) operates primarily in Denver and Arapahoe County, Colorado. To accomplish its mission, CWEE utilizes a three-phase approach involving soft skills, computer training, and career preparation.

In phase one of the CWEE program, participants learn to understand their personal value in a professional setting. This first phase stresses the importance of healthy behavior in such areas as conflict resolution, time management, confidence building, and communication. In the second phase, participants receive valuable instruction in digital literacy, gaining familiarity with computer programs such as Microsoft Office. By developing these skills, participants prepare themselves for careers in today’s computer-dominated workplace.

Phase three involves career preparation, which covers traditional job search activities such as resume building, Internet search, and mock interviews. Once participants complete the final phase of the CWEE program, they move on to a specific career or education pathway.

CWEE 1st Impressions Boutique Receives Ongoing Support from Zonta Club

cwee pic
Center for Work Education and Employment
Image: cwee.org

Since 1982, the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) has worked to combat poverty by providing personal and professional development opportunities for single parents in need. To accomplish its goal of empowering individuals to succeed as both parents and professionals, the Colorado nonprofit works alongside a number of local organizations.

One of CWEE’s long-standing partners, Zonta Club of Denver II, has been instrumental to the operations of CWEE’s 1st Impressions Boutique. Facilitated entirely by donations, the boutique provides business casual and business professional attire for both men and women. It not only helps CWEE participants build their professional wardrobes, but also serves as a source of renewed self-esteem.

As a professional organization dedicated to advancing the social and professional status of women, Zonta Club of Denver II played an integral role in establishing the 1st Impressions Boutique and regularly contributes to it. Donations from Zonta Club members have allowed the boutique  to provide CWEE participants with gift cards to purchase items that they may have difficulty finding at 1st Impressions, such as undergarments, maternity clothing, plus-size items, and shoes. The organization regularly donates clothing to the boutique and assists with restocking and maintaining it. Each holiday season, Zonta Club of Denver II also donates gift cards for boutique patrons’ teenage children.

DABC and CWEE Support Denver Families with Free Tax Preparation

cwee pic
Center for Work Education and Employment
Image: cwee.org

For more than three decades, the Center for Work Education and Employment has helped single-parent families to overcome financial challenges with a host of personal and professional development opportunities. Through skills training, assistive resources, and confidence-building activities, the organization seeks to help individuals find jobs and develop fulfilling careers.

CWEE’s ongoing support for its participants includes annual tax preparation assistance offered in partnership with the Denver Asset Building Coalition. A nonprofit supported by qualified volunteers, DABC provides free financial services to underserved populations and works with CWEE to establish a temporary tax site during tax season. Throughout February and March, local families and single filers below an annually determined income threshold can visit CWEE’s Denver headquarters at 1175 Osage Street, drop off their necessary documents, and pick up their taxes one week later.

In addition to assisting CWEE participants, DABC makes its tax services available to all local families with financial hardships. Its tax preparation program draws on the support of IRS-certified volunteers to help individuals avoid the expense of tax preparation fees and the risk of predatory tax preparers. In 2013, the nonprofit helped more than 3,300 families receive tax credits and refunds in excess of $4.5 million, in addition to saving them over $834,000 in tax preparation fees. DABC also recruits and fully trains community volunteers to assist with their tax preparation services, presenting an opportunity for CWEE members to gain valuable knowledge and experience.

CWEE Updates Career Education Curricula, Creates New Staff Positions

cwee pic
Center for Work Education and Employment
Image: cwee.org

Founded in 1982, the Center for Work Education and Employment is a Denver, Colorado, nonprofit that provides a wide range of supportive services to help adults overcome poverty and achieve self-sufficiency. In its spring 2015 newsletter, the organization outlined several recent developments that will bolster its ability to support participants’ personal and professional growth.

CWEE recently expanded its Family Support Department with the addition of a home visiting case manager position. This new staff role provides direct assistance to participants who are struggling with domestic challenges, such as transportation issues, child truancy, and difficulty finding housing. CWEE also added a new instructor position to its Training and Education Department to support the organization’s confidence-building efforts. Known as an empowerment coach, this new staff member will conduct group sessions focused on acquiring soft skills, helping participants to build self-esteem and discover their potential.

Additionally, the CWEE Training and Education Department has recently worked to integrate digital literacy into its course offerings. Striving to prepare students for the modern job market, the department has increased its focus on skills that are relevant in a digital work environment, such as the use of email and social media. CWEE’s Employment Services Department has also updated its curricula to include an increased focus on career selection. Through detailed individual assessments, the department will consider students’ aptitude and interests in order to help them explore their career possibilities and identify areas for further skill development.

CWEE Provides Employment Maintenance Support

cwee pic Recognized as one of the leading employment support nonprofits in Colorado, the Center for Work Education and Employment prepares participants for employment and helps them during all phases of the job search. After participants begin employment in their communities, CWEE continues to support them by providing employment maintenance services for up to two years. Participants retain access to their case managers, who can answer questions on topics such as budget planning, resource assistance, and securing job promotions.

In addition to delivering support through its team of experienced case managers, CWEE has partnered with organizations such as WorkLife Partnership, which connects recently employed individuals with important community resources. In particular, CWEE and WorkLife help individuals transitioning from welfare to full employment, which often involves a series of considerable financial obstacles.

To learn more about the employment support services offered by the Center for Work Education and Employment, visit the official website at http://www.cwee.org.

Employment Search Services Offered by CWEE

cweeOver the course of its history in Colorado, the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) has helped countless single parents from low-income families find meaningful employment in their communities. Its team of experienced employment specialists guides participants through all stages of the job search, from resume and cover letter writing to interview practice and workplace ethics training. CWEE also helps participants overcome the fear and anxiety that often surround the job search process.

CWEE regularly organizes on-site career fairs, with one important twist. Instead of inviting employers to set up booths and having candidates visit each booth, CWEE encourages participants to set up booths advertising themselves and invites employers to come and look. CWEE also benefits from business partnerships with a number of employers in the region, enabling it to offer internship opportunities for prospective employees.

Job Preparation at the Center for Work Education and Employment

Job Preparation pic A proven welfare-to-work program, the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) undertakes a comprehensive and participant customized approach to job training and search for TANF recipients. During the first phase of the program, participants prepare for unemployment with the help of a dedicated case manager, who assesses their specific needs. Case managers look at interests, skills, and aptitude to create an education plan, which may involve GED preparation or adult education coursework. In addition, all participants receive computer training and learn how to use the Internet, create e-mail accounts, and operate Microsoft Office software.

While engaging in appropriate educational opportunities, individuals also undergo training in the “soft skills” necessary for success in the modern work environment. Participants learn how to resolve conflicts in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, they have opportunities to improve their communication and presentation skills. The program also addresses common ethical dilemmas and explores issues around punctuality, courtesy, and employee attitudes.

After finishing this phase of the program, CWEE professionals team with participants to help them locate and land a career-path job. After completion of the program, they continue to work closely with participants to facilitate job retention and growth.

Some Basic Forms of Real Estate Investment

Real Estate Investment  pic Real estate has become an increasingly popular investment vehicle in the last few decades. While many individuals think of real estate investments in terms of buying and then renting a property, several other investment avenues exist.

Purchasing a property to rent is the most basic form of investment, but individuals who want to avoid the issues involved with managing the property can turn to real estate investment groups. Similar to a mutual fund for rental properties, this group includes investors who own one or more units in a larger building or block. All properties fall under the management of a company operating the investment group.

Another option for real estate investors is the real estate investment trust (REIT), a company that pools the money of investors to buy a portfolio of properties. Investors buy and sell stock in REITs on major exchanges. This provides them with liquidity not available in other forms of real estate investing.

Other investors may also look into flipping property, which involves the purchase of a property for the express purpose of reselling it in the near future for a profit. These investors look for undervalued properties or those located in a particularly hot market. This strategy can work well, but generally requires ideal market timing and can leave investors with outsized losses when the market turns as it did in 2007-8.