Women’s Pathway to Success is a transformative program, resulting in job creation, reduction in poverty, and eliminating barriers to employment for women in metro Atlanta. This program will impact a minimum of 18,000 women over 5-years. Investing in women achieves lasting returns for families and communities.
Under the Women’s Pathway to Success Program, 10 local nonprofit organizations will receive support over 5 years to provide the critical combination of services needed to move women to economic self-sufficiency. This combination of services includes access to:
- Workforce training and development,
- Microenterprise development,
- Financial literacy, and
- Employment opportunities for women at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
To date, AWF has awarded $1.3 million in grants to this initiative.
AWF applies a Collective Impact Approach to its grantmaking. Program components include cohort multi-year funding; facilitated discussions to foster a safe environment for peer sharing; program evaluation technical assistance; individualized one-on-one consultation; workshops and trainings; and interactive convenings that allow nonprofits an opportunity to share their work and explore collaboration.
Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, funding for year four of the program will shift to meet the developing needs of AWF grantees and their clients.
AWF is grateful to Georgia Power, Inspire Atlanta, and Stitch Fix for their support of the Women's Pathway to Success Program.
Women's Pathway to Success Goals 2017-2021 :
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Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs’ (ACE) mission is to provide community economic development to underserved people and communities. ACE is a Georgia-based non-profit organization providing loans and business development resources to help borrowers create and grow sustainable businesses which generate income and jobs. For many, ACE is their only resource for the capital and support they need, because they see opportunity where others see risk. ACE provides loans from $15,000 up to $1,000,000 to businesses seeking to start or expand.
AWF funding supports ACE’s lending and business advisory services for women living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. ACE provides capital, coaching and connections to underserved and marginalized entrepreneurs across 68 counties, including all of metro Atlanta. Because women-owned businesses tend to cluster in the sectors hardest-hit by COVID-19, like health, education, and personal services, access to affordable capital to make these business model adjustments is particularly important. In 2020, ACE provided over $1.2 million to 30 women living at or below 200% of federal poverty level. In addition to capital, many low-income women need access to quality business advisory services to assist them in developing the knowledge and skills to be successful business owners. Through the Women’s Business Center and Business Advisory Services program, ACE provides comprehensive financial-focused development services. Last year, ACE provided more than 1,300 hours of business advisory services to 190 women living at or below 200% of federal poverty level.
ACE understands that providing economic opportunity and support to disadvantaged women helps them build wealth and have broader choices in life for themselves and their families, including schools, neighborhoods, healthy foods, healthcare, and other important life quality factors. Entrepreneurship has also proven to build wealth more quickly than employment wages, and for many, entrepreneurship may not just be the best path out of poverty, it may be their only path.
The mission of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) is to advance lasting solutions that expand economic opportunity and wellbeing for all Georgians. To accomplish this mission, GBPI rigorously analyzes budget and tax policies and provides education to inspire informed debate and responsible decision-making, advancing their vision of a fair and inclusive Georgia where all people prosper. GBPI’s research includes policy areas with significant budgetary implications, including health care, economic mobility, k-12 education, higher education, and the safety net.
As Georgia and its lawmakers prepare to meet this next phase recovery from the COVID-19 public health and economic crises, GBPI will pursue a menu of proactive policy changes targeted at helping ensure that women and women of color in the Atlanta metro area particularly are included in decision making and outcomes that ensure an equitable recovery for them. GBPI’s research and advocacy will focus on advancing the policy recommendations presented in AWF’s Women Powered Prosperity in Metro Atlanta report, with the added context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact on women. Prior to COVID, the AWF report detailed that women’s increased role in the workforce had been one of the most important drivers of economic well-being over the last 60 years. However, the pandemic has brought on a seismic shift downward to the economic advances of women. For example, as recently as February, unemployment claims for Georgia women remained higher than Georgia men, even though there are nearly 100,000 fewer women in the workforce than men, and they filed 32 percent fewer unemployment claims than men before the pandemic began.
To continue building an equitable recovery for metro Atlanta women, AWF funding will support GBPI’s pursuit of the policy goals outlined in the AWF Women Powered Prosperity report, including expanding Medicaid, enacting a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit, making post-secondary education more affordable, making child care more accessible and improving the accessibility to programs like TANF and SNAP benefits. To further these policy goals GBPI aims to strategically engage women who are part of the AWF’s Women Pathway to Success Program in advocacy efforts that inform decision makers on the economic impact of the pandemic on women and lift up policy recommendations that address this disparity. Overall, this grant will support GBPI’s efforts to center specific research and outreach on women’s ability in metro Atlanta to stay or re-enter the workforce and help inform the policy debates surrounding economic recovery efforts.
The mission of Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through life changing programs and experiences to help girls navigate gender, economic, and social barriers. Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta serves nearly 500 girls ages 6 to 18 through in-school, after-school, and summer programs.
AWF’s funding will support Girls Inc.’s summer and school year break programs, which help working mothers in metro Atlanta to seek and maintain employment by providing their daughters with a safe and enriching environment during the summer and school year breaks. Girls, Inc. will sponsor fifty (50) families with full-tuition scholarships for the 2020-21 Summer University Camp and 21-22 School Year Breaks - full-day academic and enrichment support programs.
Trained staff support the girls as they explore academics through the lenses of STEM, dance, Business Entrepreneurship, fitness, and the arts. In addition, these programs will also focus on the social, emotion and wellness needs of girls as, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the pandemic has tremendously impacted the wellness and mental health of children and adults. The program seeks to offer a balance to the girls and their mothers during these times with dependable, consistent, and competitive educational programming.
Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) has provided nonsectarian programs in the areas of health, human and social services in the Atlanta area for more than 100 years. The wide range of programs and services include client-centered, outcome-focused programing for all populations regardless of religion, age, race, gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, and is guided by two overarching priorities, improved quality of life and increased self-sufficiency.
AWF funding supports JF&CS’ PATH (Prepare, Aim, Train, Hire) program, which provides employment services for low-income women, including those who are unemployed/underemployed and could benefit from job readiness and employment services. JF&CS will leverage other funds towards the salary of dedicated staff for case management, job coaching and employment referrals, and negotiating placement opportunities.
Employment services include placement activities, supportive services, and program activities. Placement activities may include unsubsidized employment, coaching, and employer focused occupational skills training. Supportive services, including limited financial assistance for transportation, uniform or other job-related costs, skill training, and other activities related to securing and retaining employment will be provided. Program activities include intake and internal/external referrals for wrap around services, case management, assessments, and development of an individualized employment plan (IEP), which includes group and individual training covering preparation of resumes and cover letters, basic computer and networking skills, job search strategies, interview skills, professional workplace behavior, and strategies to overcome personal barriers.
The mission of the Latin American Association (LAA) is to empower Latinos to adapt, integrate and thrive. Their vision is opportunity for all. Founded in 1972, the LAA has grown over the past four decades to become the region's leading agency representing Latino issues. The LAA invests in individuals’ and families’ abilities to adapt, integrate and thrive as contributing members of the greater Atlanta community. LAA’s nearly 50-year history and community-based mission render the organization unique in its work and capabilities.
Funding from AWF continues to support LAA’s women’s economic empowerment program, the Latin Leadership Institute (LLI), to empower an increased number of low-income Latina immigrants through direct services, partnerships, and advocacy. This includes the growth of partnerships with Clear Point’s Hispanic Center for Financial Excellence as a key part of the financial literacy component of the Latina Leadership Institute. Now in their sixth year of the program, they plan to continue the LLI’s educational courses on subjects including financial literacy, promoting your business, using Excel, and developing a business plan. Additionally, they are continuing to connect their LLI participants with on-site English classes as needed. LAA will also continue their microloan program.
A significant goal of the LLI is to economically empower participants. LAA does so by connecting clients with LAA’s job fairs and employment orientations, in addition to the jobs and businesses created through the microloan program. LAA is maintaining the mentorship and networking components of LLI, recruiting, training, and connecting accomplished business people with Latina clients to serve as an additional resource.
The mission of Our House is to end the cycle of homelessness for families. The organization was founded to provide homeless families with infants and young children with safe, no-cost, high-quality childcare, while also providing parents with the resources needed to achieve lasting stability and independence. To achieve their mission and address the root causes of homelessness,
Our House provides homeless families with four integrated programs that meet the needs of the entire family:
- Early Childhood Education program provides homeless families with dependable, high-quality childcare for children ages six weeks to five years old.
- Child Development Associate training program provides homeless and low-income adults with paid job training that enables them to develop job skills, gain a nationally-recognized credential, and obtain employment.
- Housing Services program provides homeless families with up to six months of shelter in a safe and caring environment.
- Family Services program provides parents in all core programs with comprehensive case management, supportive services, educational opportunities, and financial assistance.
Collectively, Our House programs provide homeless families with wraparound service support they need to achieve their employment and housing goals, and ultimately, self-sufficiency.
AWF funding will continue to support the Our House’s Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification Training program. This program empowers homeless and low-income women with the tools and resources they need to begin new careers in the field of Early Childhood Education (ECE). The CDA program is a five-month, paid job-training program that prepares qualifying low-income adults to earn the nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™. The program combines 120 hours of classroom instruction with 400 hours of paid internship experience in accredited childcare centers. During their internships, students gain practical experience while applying the concepts and strategies they first learned in the classroom. In addition to field-specific knowledge and skills, CDA students also receive training on essential “soft” skills as well as banking and household money management. Towards the end of the course, students practice interviewing skills and participate in mock interviews conducted by childcare facility directors.
Quality Care for Children (QCC) is a nationally-recognized leader in the early education field with a 40-year history. Their mission is to ensure Georgia’s infants and young children are nurtured and educated. At the core of everything they do is the belief that all children – regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic background – deserve access to high quality early care and learning. These are the experiences that level life’s playing field, laying the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health.
Funding from AWF continues to support QCC’s Emergency Child Care program. AWF’s investment helps women in metro Atlanta who are experiencing hardships because of economic stressors or other temporary crises. Through the Emergency Child Care program, QCC provides financial assistance to families experiencing crises such as homelessness, domestic violence, and instability due to divorce or displacement, loss of job or gap in employment, hospitalization or other unexpected events. Often, the women they serve are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless. Such crises make it difficult for parents to provide continuity and consistency of child care for their children. Lack of child care further exacerbates their challenges in addressing their crises, including finding and maintaining employment.
The Emergency Child Care program assists families who are experiencing crisis situations by providing access to resources for quality child care. QCC pays for up to 12 weeks of child care, facilitates the relationship between the provider and parent, monitors the placement of the child in early learning, before- and after-school care, and summer camps to guarantee that services are being provided, and connects families to additional resources including long-term financial planning. Child care programs that provide care during non-traditional hours (e.g. evenings and weekends) are also included in the pool to meet the needs of women working these hours.
The Refugee Women’s Network (RWN) has served refugees resettled in the state of Georgia for more than 20 years. RWN continues to be the only organization in Georgia that specifically serves refugee women. RWN’s spectrum of services meets women where they are, whether they’ve been in the U.S. for three months or three years. From enrolling their children in school to preparing to open a business, RWN helps women on their journey to become independent and self-sufficient. RWN is an organization created by women for women that provides a network of support through strategic partnerships, mentorship, and resources. RWN inspires and equips refugee and immigrant women to become leaders in their homes, careers, and communities through education and advocacy.
AWF funding continues to support RWN’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Program. The Women’s Economic Empowerment Program will continue to provide resources for securing employment, expand entrepreneurship development programs, the Chefs Club, and support with credit and asset building through Lending Circles. Employment services are provided to refugee and immigrant women to help them secure meaningful employment where they can fully utilize their skills, talent and experience. Employment services include intensive case management to address the unique needs and barriers the women face. RWN provides an intake to review interest, solutions and parallel working opportunities relevant to their experiences in their home country. Resume assistance, interview preparation and job search assistance are provided continuously. Post- employment support is engaged to ensure assistance with any acclimation difficulties. The program also provides training and workshops for workforce development, financial literacy and topics important and relevant to women.
Founded in 1992, Women in Technology (WIT) supports and empowers women and girls at every stage of their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) careers -- from the classroom to the boardroom. WIT utilizes its educational programs, connections, volunteer opportunities, and events to enable the development of the WIT community through education, mentoring, recognition, partnerships, thought leadership, networking, and events. WIT is driven to help women and girls write their own stories of success throughout the full lifecycle of their careers and continued evolution as STEAM leaders in Georgia. WIT also supports and serves women living in disadvantaged communities through their education and mentoring programs, giving women an opportunity to grow in their careers and career options.
Funding from AWF continues to support The Cyber Security Educational Program. The goal for the program is to serve 40 single mothers in 2021 who are living in disadvantaged communities. These single mothers who are enrolled in college and/or working in a technology field will be educated in and gain immediate employment in cybersecurity, one of the fastest growing fields in technology with an astounding workforce gap and shortage of talent. By completing the 12-week certificate course, these single mothers will have the opportunity to earn $50,000+ per year immediately upon completion of the program, improving the quality of their lives and the lives of their children.
Support services are also provided at no charge to participants:
- Childcare through WIT partner Sheltering Arms
- Transportation through WIT partners Atlanta Regional Commission and Uber
- Laptops, monitors, and keyboards
- Breakfast and lunch
- Pathway and professional coaching through WIT partner VHW Consulting
- Financial literacy and nutritional coaching through WIT partner Warrick Dunn Charities
- Free access to monthly WIT Forums for 2 years – a networking and educational monthly breakfast event
- Guaranteed job placement immediately after completion of program with $50,000 starting salary through WIT job placement partner HUNTER Technical
Year Up is committed to ensuring equitable access to economic opportunity, education, and justice for all young adults—no matter their background, income, or zip code. Employers face a growing need for talent while millions are left disconnected from the economic mainstream. These inequities only further perpetuate the Opportunity Divide that exists in the country—a divide that Year Up is determined and positioned to close.
Year Up Greater Atlanta Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. Year Up operates their program in partnership with Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC), dually enrolling students in their program and the college. AWF funding supports 153 young women enrolled in YUGA’s program to build and hone in-demand, market-validated skills and experience so that they may thrive in the workforce and beyond.