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.
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.