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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

WISE Program (Women in Sustainable Employment)

The WISE Program, which is powered by United Way of Greater Lorain County, is a Career Pathways program that encourages women to explore non-traditional careers. The program provides help with resume writing, mock interviews, peer support and access to the supportive services offered by the WE3 Collaborative (Women Empowered, Educated and Employed), Lorain County JVS, Lorain County Community College and Ohio Means Jobs-Lorain County. WISE provides training that leads to a new career or improves 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 and self-esteem. Participants take the NCRC (National Career Readiness Certificate) exam, a certification that many employers prefer over diplomas or GEDs. The camaraderie that develops across the cohorts sustains the participants as examinations, interviews and other challenges arise.

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.

Career Services 

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.

Also, hear Sharonda's success >

Career Pathways Program 

The WISE Program is a 5-week career exploration program for women that focuses on non-traditional jobs in energy, civil services, manufacturing and construction.  Success is defined individually for every woman as she works toward self-sufficiency. 


Women are encouraged to participate in bonding and teamwork exercises.  We offer sessions that create cohesiveness; some of these relationships have developed into lasting friendships. 

For more information on the WISE program or other educational programs, fill out the form below and our education and outreach Coordinator will reach out you.

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