Beyond Jobs Job Fair for women set for Wednesday

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Twelve employers will be on hand on Wednesday including Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, WIS International, Lowe's Home Improvement, Buffalo Wild Wings, Goodwill Stores, Holiday Inn, Family Dollar, Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, Manpower Staffing, Always Best Care and Radio Shack. Employers will be prescreening jobseekers for job opportunities in retail, caregiving, food service, security, inventory and housekeeping.

WHO: Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana, Inc. (Goodwill)

WHAT: Beyond Jobs for Women Job Fair

WHEN: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

9 a.m. – 12 noon

WHERE: Goodwill Industries Workforce Development Office

647 Main Street, Baton Rouge, LA (corner of 7th and Main Street)

ADD'L INFO: Beyond Jobs leverages Goodwill's holistic approach to job training, placement and support services. Over a 30-month grant period, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern LA and Goodwill agencies in 45 other communities across the nation work with women who are unemployed or underemployed to provide them the tools to achieve their educational, career and financial goals. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 26 percent of the women who lost their jobs during the recession have regained them. The unemployment rate for single mothers is also at an all-time high of 12.3 percent. With women earning an average of 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, it is especially difficult for single mothers to raise a family on their own.

Beyond Jobs began in 2010 as a pilot program focusing on single mothers in five cities, and there have already been many successes. For example, one of the first Beyond Jobs participants was Marina, a 24-year-old single mother of a toddler, who suffered from abuse at the hands of her child's father. Marina hoped to work as a teacher, but didn't know how to begin. She enrolled in Goodwill's First Step work readiness class, as well as Goodwill's Human Services Employment Ladder Program (HELP) in Boston, taking the bus to classes and maintaining perfect attendance even when she had to secure emergency shelter more than 90 miles away. Beyond Jobs funding made it possible for Goodwill to pay Marina's wages for a six-week transitional job at a daycare center, where she developed her child care and teaching skills. At the end of her transitional period, Marina earned employment as a full-time assistant teacher at the center. With tuition assistance from Beyond Jobs, she is now taking the college-level courses necessary to become a lead teacher.

Like Marina, each woman in the Beyond Jobs program here at Goodwill of SELA will receive a complete career assessment including job training, placement services and additional supports to help her achieve economic security and advance in her career. We don't just put women in jobs; we help them build careers. Once participants are placed in jobs, they will receive support to retain them, to further their education, and to advance in their careers within their chosen industries.

The Beyond Jobs program is a key element in Walmart achieving its Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative goals, one of which aims to help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households with workforce readiness through job training, education, career counseling, and mentoring, ultimately helping women live better lives — because when women succeed, we all succeed.