For five years, our ground-breaking Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) has offered career readiness and office technology training to help survivors of gender violence disrupt the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and abuse by securing a living wage, career-track job.
Through an intensive four month training program, EEP participants focus on professional development, literacy upgrading, and advanced office technology skills that position them for living wage jobs across growing industries seeking skilled employees, including health care, financial services, technology, human services, and construction administration.
“The Economic Empowerment Program: Five Years of Transforming Lives, 2011-2016” reveals big numbers and impactful results:
- 564 survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking enrolled – growing from 68 participants in 2011 to 146 participants in 2015
- 494 graduates – an 88% graduation rate
- 270 placed in career-track, living wage jobs – a higher rate than average for workforce development programs
- $13.71 – the average current hourly wage of our graduates, more than $5 higher than New York State’s private sector minimum wage
- 148,000 – the number of hours of advanced office technology training and literacy instruction our graduates received over the past five years – and this doesn’t even include additional time spent at internships, with individual mentoring and tutoring, and enrollment in outside courses and trainings
What makes our approach unique? Seven “Career Keys” unlock each client’s potential to move from low to living wage work: professional development, literacy, English proficiency, secondary education, IT skills, occupational skill and work experience.
After determining the Career Keys that a client needs, EEP also offers a full set of supportive services to address other barriers, such as childcare and transportation needs.
Meena, a survivor of extreme domestic violence, graduated from EEP in 2012. She says “My EEP counselor Saloni gave me the skills I needed to feel confident and move forward, while the other women enrolled in EEP were a constant source of positive energy when I was feeling uncertain about the future.”
With EEP’s help, Meena obtained a full time job as a campus recruiter. She advanced quickly at her company, and today earns $75,000 a year. She is remarried, and her daughter Shari is thriving.