WE3 (Women, Empowered, Educated, and Employed)
WE3 is a community collaborative that is made up of 12 partners across the nonprofit, government, and education sectors who work together to help hard-working single moms increase their earning capacity to help them become and remain economically secure and self-sufficient.
WE3 seeks an increase in jobs obtained and retained for working single moms, with an increase in earning and a plan for future savings to avoid unforeseen emergencies. The long-term goal for the collaborative is to see an overall decrease in poverty rate for the targeted population.
Partners of WE3 include:
Elyria Public Library
Lorain City Schools
Lorain County Community Action Agency
Lorain County Community College
Lorain County Job and Family Services
Lorain County JVS
Lorain County Urban League
Oberlin College Bonner Center for Service and Learning
Oberlin Community Services
Ohio Means Jobs
United Way of Greater Lorain County
YWCA of Elyria
OCS’s WE3 Program
The WE3 Program, powered by United Way of Greater Lorain County, is a job readiness and resiliency program open to any woman who is a resident of Lorain
County. The program covers a wide range of topics including financial literacy, workplace and communication skills, career planning, health and wellness, and non-traditional career paths. Formerly known as WISE (Women in Sustainable Employment), the program provides help with resume writing, mock interviews, peer support and access to the supportive services offered by the WE3 Collaborative, Lorain County JVS, Lorain County Community College and Ohio Means Jobs-Lorain County. WE3 provides training that can lead to a new career or improve the quality and pay of a current job. The impact of this program on the participants is profound and, in some cases, life-altering. Each individual develops confidence, resilience, and self-esteem. At the end of the program participants take the WorkKeys exam to earn their National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), an industry-recognized credential that can help on a job-hunt. The camaraderie that develops across the cohorts sustains the participants as examinations, interviews and other challenges arise.
WE3/WISE Women have been employed by Columbia Gas of Ohio, Agrinomix, IGA, Oberlin College, the City of Elyria, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, University Hospital, Welcome Nursing Home, Americorps and others.
These ladies met in the WISE program, bonded quickly and entered into a "Scratchmade Incubator" program at LCCC to develop a marketable product. In addition, they have started Sassy Savories, a catering business.
Not only do we introduce women to non-traditional employment, we spend a great deal of time focusing on introductions, resume writing, appropriate work attire and mock interviews to be ready for employment. We provide instruction and tutoring at each class to prepare for the NCRC (National Career Readiness Certificate).
A Success story
Renee was an attendee of our first WISE Career Pathways Program and frequently attends post-WISE events and workshops. Renee is a graduate of our program and completed National Career Readiness Certificate exam. She spent time developing a new career path while working with with a team of women that surveyed the city of Elyria for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Upon completion, she started working as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank focusing on grant applications and advocacy. Today, she has accepted another AmeriCorps VISTA position at the Cleveland Clinic helping patients quit smoking using Motivational Interviewing techniques. Renee is an example for everyone and has shown that hard work and being connected to your community is a reward in itself.