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.
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.
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.
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.