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The Capital District Women's Employment and Resource Center, Inc. (WERC) is a not-for-profit organization that works to advance women's success in the workplace by building their economic and personal independence. One of 13 Displaced Homemaker Centers in New York State, since 1988 WERC has provided quality workforce development services to more than 8,000 women, helping them to find or improve their employment through training and support. WERC helps Displaced Homemakers from Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga counties. These women have lost their primary financial support due to the death, divorce or dislocation of their spouse or other primary support, and need help to transition back to the workplace. Of the 300 women served annually, 54% are at poverty level, 44% have an annual income of less than $10,000 and 10% have no income. Many are ineligible to receive unemployment or social security benefits.
To meet its mission, WERC offers a variety of personalized trainings to women, from individual support to multi-day trainings. A major component of WERC's services is a 12-day training at its Albany Training Center that covers the following topics: typing, Microsoft Office, strategic use of the Internet to find and research companies, resumes, and interviewing. Participants also meet employers who visit the class and share information about their current job openings. Participants meet for 12 days for six hours per day; all trainings are provided by Employment and Training Coordinator, Marjorie Adams, Intake Specialist, Lorraine Kaifer and Executive Director, Elizabeth Miller Guthier.
After each 12-day training, WERC staff works with each woman until she finds employment. Follow-up training and assistance is provided one-on-one, as well as in weekly workshop sessions that are available to all graduates. The focus is always on helping women find quality jobs based on their unique education, experience and career goals.