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.
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.
Over 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.
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.