Finding jobs for women is the main goal of the non-profit organization Capital District WERC

“To date we have helped over 10,000 women and we just keep growing,” said Miller Guthier, who joined the organization in 1996 as a training coordinator and currently serves as executive director. “What we do changes the lives of women and their families.”

WERC helps women from all backgrounds and situations with one thing in common: the need to find employment. This may be after a loss of financial support due to a separation or divorce, or a spouse’s job loss following a layoff, disability, or death. Women in these situations, says Miller Guthier, often lack confidence or knowledge of how to market themselves to potential employers and how to navigate the application process.

“We never know who will come through our door, so we try to have every kind of opportunity available to not only match their level of experience, but also to achieve their goals, which will make them happy and successful in the job,” she said .

WERC offers hundreds of free services including resume reviews, cover letter writing, job search assistance, interview preparation and more. Some women walk away and find a job after visiting WERC, while others use services for months before getting a job. Many remain in contact with the organization for ongoing advice and support. Although WERC is not a recruitment agency, Miller Guthier offers employers access to candidates who are motivated, ready to work, and have valuable skills and experience qualifying them for the job.

The average age of the women mentored is between 35 and 55, and many are seeking part-time or full-time employment in sectors that run the gamut: private companies, the New York state government, nonprofit organizations, or places with a full remote or hybrid work model Compatibility of family and new job.

“Even if someone has the skills or the education, that doesn’t mean they know how to find a job in today’s market,” Miller Guthier said, noting that 40 percent of the women who use WERC’s services take, have a college degree. “We can teach them how to use new tools like Indeed or LinkedIn that didn’t exist when they last looked for a job.”

As a not-for-profit organization, the community support WERC receives enables the continued development of its programs. Miller Guthier shared some new developments, including a grant that will help buy new computers for local training centers, the establishment of a mentoring program beginning this fall, and four community-wide public events planned for 2023.

“We had a woman who ran a restaurant with her husband but didn’t think she had any marketable skills,” Miller Guthier said. “When we spoke to her, we found out that she was the one who was handling all of the order and supplier management, staff training and customer service – all extremely important functions and roles. When we broke this up, she found a job and within three months was promoted to supervisor.”

In-person training is resuming at the organization’s two locations in Albany and Troy, and the addition of virtual programming has helped expand the organization’s ability to serve as many women as possible. WERC is also associated with 12 New York State Displaced Homemaker Programs, which provide similar resources to women across the state.

“During the pandemic, it became even more evident that our women needed a place where they could find support and realize that they were not alone in their job search,” she said. “Social media and distance learning have really changed things.”

Miller Guthier says her team is continuing its outreach to forge new partnerships with local employers and other resources so women can easily access everything they need and avoid duplicating the efforts of local agencies.

“I’m proud to be making this a community agency and organization,” said Miller Guthier. “We have kept our doors open during difficult times and the community has shown us that they are okay with that. We must be here to help women and be there as long as it is necessary.”

The 2nd Annual Merrill Links to Leadership Charity Golf Tournament

  • What: Tournament and Beginner Gold Clinic benefiting WERC
  • When: Monday 12 September
  • Where: Albany Country Club, 300 Wormer Road, Voorheesville
  • How much: $185. The proceeds benefit WERC

Get to know WERC

  • What: WERC Zoom, a session for volunteers, community partners and employers interested in getting involved with the Capital District WERC
  • When: 1-2pm September 15th

WERC’s Constellation Building Event: Shining Brighter Together

  • When: 11:30am-1:30pm, 18 October
  • Where: Hilton Garden Inn, Troy
  • Tickets: $65

More info:

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