Recently a new client arrived for an appointment at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women. She was college educated with a degree in nursing. She was also recently divorced, financially strapped and trying to make ends meet by working at a hardware store for $11 an hour. She had come seeking career counseling and support.
“Why aren’t you working as a nurse?” inquired Kathy Murphy, a Case Manager at the Center for Women. The woman explained that she could not afford to pay to have her nursing license renewed, a necessary requirement to be able to practice nursing in New Jersey. The client looked up in amazement when Kathy responded, “Guess what? We can pay for your license renewal and the fees associated with it.”
Helping women get past obstacles, such as licensing fees and/or taking a certification class, is the goal of E2E, one of the many programs offered by the Center for Women. E2E, short for Education 2 Empowerment, is funded through a generous grant from the NJ Department of Children and Families, Division on Women. The goal of E2E is to help women who have gone through divorce, separation or widowhood to improve their chances of re-entering the workforce with the assistance of additional education. Center for Women clients have taken certification courses in a variety of areas including Project Management, Certified Health Aide, Quickbooks, and Personal Training/Yoga. The ultimate goal of E2E is to help women become self-sufficient and able to provide for their families.
Our new client left the office feeling hopeful and relieved. She also left with a gas card, Shoprite gift card and food from Patty’s Pantry. The Center for Women set her on the right path to enable her to return to the workforce in her skilled profession. If you are looking to obtain new skills to enter or re-enter the workforce, the NCJW/Essex Center for Women is here to help. E2E is just one of many programs offered to help women on the road to self-empowerment.
Interested in learning more? Visit www.centerforwomennj.org or call (973) 994-4994 for more information.
The gun debate is exhausting and divisive. How many of us are sitting across the table from someone with opposing views and making any headway? Each of us has deeply held views on guns and no amount of debate is likely to change another person’s mind.
What if we push the issue forward on a community level by centering it on the burden of responsible gun ownership? Many parents across the country have already realized the importance of adding guns to the usual play date planning discussion that typically addresses allergies, dogs and swimming pools.
Let’s take the conversation beyond the play date. Informing a new babysitter, a cleaning service, a home health aide or house guests of the absence of a firearm or that you have firearms safely secured, has an enormous upside. By offering the information, you are modeling that people have a right to ask and a right to know.
Safe firearm storage has enormous implications. Almost 1.7 million children live in homes with unsecured firearms and more than 80 percent of suicides occur with a family member’s gun. Moreover, research estimates that roughly 200,000-400,000 guns are stolen each year.
Whether the discussion is among family members, friends or acquaintances, the topic of access to guns is often rife with conflict. Encouraging safe storage of firearms may be a smart place to start. It’s not necessarily an easy conversation, but taking it out of the shadows gives us a way to talk about gun owner responsibilities and may, hopefully, inch us forward.
Education is an essential means of empowering women with knowledge, skills and self-confidence to help them take the first steps toward success. At the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women (CFW), we see the benefits of education time and time again. We see women who have been out of the workforce for years who are trying to enhance their lives and seek support to make ends meet. One pathway towards this success is to enroll in a certificate program.
Five years ago, with funding from the NJ Department of Children and Families, Division on Women, we created “Education 2 Empowerment,” a program we call E2E. This grant-funded program pays for all or part of the cost of a career training certificate. Recently, the state increased this grant to allow us to continue E2E and work specifically with women residing in Essex County and the surrounding communities who are separated, divorced or widowed. This is a great opportunity for women who have been unemployed or underemployed to obtain training for a new skill to succeed in today’s market. For clients who have already been through E2E, they have had great success at finding employment soon after completing their coursework.
There are many examples of certifications available, including but not limited to: Microsoft Office specialist, office and dental assistant, medical billing, computerized financial accounting, web page graphic design, culinary arts and bookkeeping. Participants are encouraged to participate in the job placement services offered by the CFW and are required to attend monthly update meetings with either a CFW staff member or an NCJW/Essex volunteer liaison.
One client who recently completed E2E said, “Thank you for providing me with the financial support to help me finish my certification to find a job in the medical field. Without the help of the CFW staff, the meetings and the connections, I would not be where I am now – back to work in the field that I love.”
The Center for Women is designed to be a resource for all women. E2E is just one of many programs offered to help women on the road to self-empowerment. Interested in learning more? Visit www.centerforwomennj.org – or call (973) 994-4994 for more information.