Tag Archive | women

To Avoid Reincarceration, Mothers Need Support and Employment

By Jeanne E. Murray, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Ardella

This Mother’s Day, we want to recognize incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women with children. Women represent the fastest growing population in prison. Over the last 30 years, the female prison population has grown by over 800 percent, and more than 60 percent of women prisoners are parents to children under age 18. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women are likely to have low educational attainment and experience mental health or substance use issues, and many are survivors of domestic violence. These barriers, combined with long gaps in work history and the stigma of a criminal record, can make it difficult for formerly incarcerated women to find and keep jobs once they’re back home. To help these women stay out of prison and successfully reenter their communities, it’s critical that employment services be a part of the programming that formerly incarcerated women receive.

Ardella’s House in Philadelphia aims to reduce recidivism by helping women successfully transition back into their communities. Ardella’s House provides women support and guidance along with addressing their career placement and vocational and educational training needs. This month, the National Initiatives team spoke with Tonie Willis, the Director of Ardella’s House, to discuss the important issues facing women who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated—including getting and keeping jobs.

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Four Transitional Jobs Programs that Are Helping Women Succeed in the Workforce

By Annika Yates, Communications Coordinator, Heartland Alliance Policy and Research Division owmen

Women face poverty at disproportionate rates. According to the National Women’s Law Center, nearly 60% of poor adults are women, and nearly six in ten poor children live in families headed by women. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting four transitional jobs programs that are working to even the score by helping women leave poverty behind through employment.

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Vermont Works for Women: Connecting Women and Girls to the Transformative Power of Work

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

TJat Intervale 2014

The impacts of poverty are deeply felt across racial and gender divides – but there is no denying that poverty is a particularly important issue for women. The numbers don’t lie: there are nearly 18 million women living in poverty in the United States and women are twice as likely as men to retire into poverty.

Vermont Works for Women (VWW) was founded 27 years ago with the intent of bridging the gender gap in employment – particularly in traditionally male-dominated fields like carpentry, plumbing, and other trades. Over time, VWW’s mission has expanded and evolved to a broader focus of promoting economic independence for women and girls.

Recently, Rachel Jolly – director of women’s programs at VWW – took the time to talk with the National Initiatives team about the employment services provided by VWW to women and girls in Vermont. In our interview, we discussed VWW’s emphasis on meeting individual participants where they are at in their employment and educational needs and the importance to the economy of increasing and diversifying the career opportunities for women and girls.

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A Social Enterprise Helps Lift Young Moms out of Poverty

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Workforce Research and Policy Fellow, NTJN

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In honor of Mother’s Day, the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN) recently caught up with Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise that’s hard at work selling first-rate candles and bath products and changing young mothers’ lives. Bright Endeavors is a part of New Moms, Inc., a Chicago-based social service agency that helps adolescent mothers experiencing or at risk of homelessness move toward economic independence.  Employment is an essential part of this formula.

Through transitional jobs at Bright Endeavors, young women develop critical skills such as teamwork, leadership, and conflict management while working for a real business that is supported by sales revenue.  John Guido, Bright Endeavors’ Manager of Sales and Business Development, agrees that offering employment training in a social enterprise setting raises the stakes for staff and participants, but he’s confident Bright Endeavors’ young moms are on-track to succeed.  “Our participants continually amaze all of us at Bright Endeavors,” says John. “The steps they’re taking to improve their futures speak to the strength of the human spirit.”  Read on to learn more about this mom-friendly (and eco-friendly!) social enterprise that’s dedicated to transforming the lives of at-risk young women and their children.

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