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Finding jobs for women, a primary goal of the non-profit Capital District WERC

“We’ve served over 10,000 women to date, and we’re still growing,” said Miller Guthier, who joined the organization as training coordinator in 1996 and is currently its director. executive. “What we do changes the lives of women and their families.

WERC helps women from all walks of life and in all situations with one thing in common: the need to find a job. This could be after a loss of financial support due to separation or divorce, or a spouse’s loss of employment after a layoff, disability or death. Women in these situations, says Miller Guthier, often lack the confidence or knowledge of how to market themselves to potential employers and navigate the application process.

“We never know who is going to walk through our door, so we try to have any type of opportunity available to meet not only their level of experience, but also their goals for what will make them happy and successful in a job. “, she said. .

WERC provides hundreds of free services, including resume reviews, cover letter writing, job search assistance, interview preparation and more. Some women leave and find a job after a visit to WERC, while others use the services for months before landing a job. Many stay in touch with the organization for ongoing mentorship and support. Although WERC is not a staffing agency, Miller Guthier says it provides employers with access to motivated, work-ready candidates with valuable skills and work experience.

The average age of the women served is between 35 and 55, and many seek part-time or full-time employment in a wide variety of sectors: private companies, New York State government, organizations non-profit or places with a completely remote or hybrid network. work model to reconcile family life and new work.

“Even if someone may have the skills or the education, that doesn’t mean they know how to find a job in today’s market,” said Miller Guthier, noting that 40% of women using WERC services have went to college. “We can teach them how to use new tools like Indeed or LinkedIn that didn’t exist when they last looked for a job.”

As a not-for-profit organization, the community support WERC receives allows its programming to evolve. Miller Guthier shared some new developments, including a grant that will help purchase new computers for local training centers, the establishment of a mentorship program starting this fall, and four community-wide public events. planned for 2023.

“We had a wife who ran a restaurant with her husband, but didn’t believe she had marketable skills,” Miller Guthier said. “On speaking with her, we discovered that she was responsible for all order and supplier management, staff training and customer service – all extremely important functions and roles. we brought this to light, she got a job and was promoted to supervisor within three months.

In-person training is beginning to resume at the organization’s two locations in Albany and Troy, and the addition of virtual programming has helped expand the organization’s ability to serve as many women as possible. WERC is also connected to 12 New York State Displaced Housewives programs, which provide similar resources to women across the state.

“During the pandemic, it became even more apparent that our women needed a place to find support and realize that they weren’t alone in their job search,” she said. . “Social media and distance learning have really changed things.”

Miller Guthier says her team is continuing its outreach efforts with the goal of creating new partnerships with local employers and other resources so women can easily access everything they need, and not duplicate efforts between local agencies.

“I’m proud to make this an agency and a community organization,” said Miller Guthier. “We have kept our doors open during times of difficulty, and the community has shown us that they are on board; we need to be there to help women and be there as long as the need remains.

The 2nd Annual Merrill Links to Leadership Charity Golf Tournament

  • What: Beginner’s Gold Tournament and Clinic to Benefit WERC
  • When: Monday September 12
  • Where: Albany Country Club, 300 Wormer Road, Voorheesville
  • How much: $185. Proceeds go to WERC

Getting to Know WERC

  • What: WERC Zoom, a session for volunteers, community partners and employers interested in getting involved Capital District WERC
  • When: 1-2 p.m. September 15

WERC Constellation Building Event: Shining Brighter Together

  • When: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., October 18
  • Where: Hilton Garden Hostel, Troy
  • Tickets: $65

More information: cdwerc.org


Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.