JVS Human Services Offers Free Summer Skills Program for Women

Women, it’s your time to shine professionally this summer.

Women to Work, a free four-week course offered by JVS Human Services (which has been changing women’s lives since the 1980s by providing important skills to women needing immediate employment) is returning to in-person programming after being remote during the pandemic.

In addition, a summer networking event entitled WOW: Women, Opportunities, Work will be held to offer local female jobseekers the opportunity to connect with successful businesswomen in metro Detroit; the pandemic has made it particularly hard for jobseekers to have the connections or resources to network while seeking employment. Featured business leaders in the WOW event are CEO of Universal Special Events, Inc. Tonia Williams; Founder and Owner of skinnytees™ Linda Schlesinger-Wagner; Co-founder and CEO of Bamboo Detroit Amanda Lewan; and Founder and President of CKC Agency Carolyn Krieger. An informational meeting for the Women to Work course will be held July 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the outdoor WOW networking event is on July 22 from 6.30-8.30 p.m. at JVS Human Services (29699 Southfield Road, Southfield, Michigan 48076). Register for Women to Work here and the WOW networking event here.

“The pandemic has shown us how our work lives can be severely impacted by situations beyond our control, and we want all local women looking for a fresh employment start to know that free, life-changing help is available this summer,” said Judy Richmond, JVS Employment Specialist and Women to Work coordinator. “This course offers vital skills many women need to get back into the workforce and the networking event will help women make valuable connections and gain insight from female business leaders.”

The Women to Work course is eight sessions and runs from July 27 through August 19, with classes from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Topics will include in-depth vocational assessment, employment-related group counseling and emotional support, information and referrals to support services, help with networking, resume writing and interviewing, financial management advice and stress management.

While “Women to Work” was forced to go remote earlier this year, it remained a vital resource for women seeking employment: 16 local metro Detroit women completed the course with many finding new employment options. One of those women was 54-year-old Monique Maksym of Lakeville, Michigan who learned negotiating skills, verbiage for discussing salary offers and, importantly, ways to ensure her resume was taken seriously by hiring professionals by including keywords found in the job application.

“I enjoyed being with other women in the course hearing everyone’s input which was all diverse and valuable, and I was able to job seek with a whole new arsenal of tools,” she said. Maksym, an executive TV producer, was eventually able to renegotiate a position with a former employer and is now working as a contractor.

For more information on Women to Work, contact Judy Richmond at (248)233-4232 or email her at jrichmond@jvshumanservices.org. For more information on the WOW networking event, contact Gerard Baltrusaitis at (248)658-8862 or email him at gbaltrusaitis@jvshumanservices.org.

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