Let´s Get to Work! – Employment Readiness for Low-Income Women
Gainful employment is a central component to a meaningful and dignified life. In addition to the financial ramifications of unemployment, chronically unemployed individuals tend to have lower self-esteem than their employed peers. In many cases, this is passed on to the next generation. Although successful job seeking is a skill which can be learned, often low-income individuals tend to lack role models from whom they can learn how to find and maintain stable and quality employment.
The core of Let's Get to Work! is a three-month long program which offers comprehensive solutions to the obstacles that keep chronically employed women from finding long-term employment. Each group consists of about 15 women and in order to aid group cohesion, participants are usually recruited from similar backgrounds, such as single mothers, immigrants, or ultra-orthodox.
The first component of the program is personal empowerment, where YEDID helps participants identify and overcome emotional and psychological barriers to achieving economic security. In the second part of the program, participants attend a series of job seeking workshops in which they learn practical job seeking tools including resume writing, interview technique, computer skills and family budget management.
In the third part of the program, the staff works with each woman to build a personalized work plan to identify goals, locate potential employers and seek job opportunities. This final program component can vary in length (from 2-18 months) depending on funding available and on the wishes of program partners. The program can also be uniquely adapted in other ways such as a unique Small Business Entrepreneurial Program that was created for Bedouin women who, because of cultural norms, are not encouraged to work outside the home.
Program staff report that an average of 70% of participants find work or enrol in continuing education programs by the end of the course. Word spreads fast of this highly successfully program, and former participants often recommend the program to their friends, neighbours, and family members. Not only are participants able raise their income level, they also leave the program with a new sense of self-worth and accomplishment, which affects all areas of their lives.
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Additional stories about Let's Get to Work!
YEDID Intern's reflection on Let's Get to Work! In Rahat http://www.yedid.org.il/?id=3937
LGTW in Kiryat Gat: http://www.yedid.org.il/?id=3726
LGTW Ashkelon: http://www.yedid.org.il/?id=3918
Participant Profile from Ashkelon: http://www.yedid.org.il/?id=3935