There are so many situations that can lead to hardships in returning to the workplace. Divorce, becoming a displaced homemaker, being a single mother trying to decide between childcare or a pay check, or other life circumstances can make it difficult to get things like training, transportation and appropriate clothing to get you that job that you need to get back on your feet.
There are organizations out there that exist to help women get back into the workforce. Here are some of my favorites in the Pittsburgh area.
North Hills Community Outreach
These people really do it all. They connect you with the programs that will best meet your needs–and they have a slew of programs.
Currently you can get hooked up with WorkAble, a program that helps people get in touch with a career coach. From there your coach can help you get the training you need along with information about job openings in the Pittsburgh area.
North Hills Community Outreach also runs Community Auto–a program that helps you get a used car at a seriously reduced price. There is usually a long wait line for this one.
They connect women in Northern Allegheny County with scholarships so they can get the education they need to get that great job.
They provide computer training courses which are particularly wonderful for displaced homemakers or those who may be mature and didn’t get computer training in their traditional schooling.
They can help you set up a basic financial plan so that you can live within budget and improve things like your credit report that will help your lifestyle overall.
Believe it or not, they offer even more resources than the ones listed above. To check all of them out in depth, go to their website.
Treasure House Fashions
Founded 16 years ago, Treasure House Fashions on McKnight Rd. is a gently used clothes store for women. Slightly more expensive than Good Will, the quality of the clothes is guaranteed and in season.
Anyone can shop here. Absolutely anyone. But the heart and soul of their business is helping women in transition or need.
Places like North Hills Community Outreach often distribute Treasure House gift certificates, which can be perfect if the expense of a professional work wardrobe is the thing holding you back from employment.
If you’re a single mother or a woman who is 55 years of age or older, ask about their SMART card which gives you a 50% discount certain days of the week.
Treasure House Fashions also holds bag sales every February and August–pile as much as you can into a brown Giant Eagle bag for only $20!
Pennsylvania Women Work
If you’re trying to get back into the workforce but just don’t see how it’s feasible, Pennsylvania Women Work has you covered in all areas.
First, there’s their New Choices program. This provides training in areas such as reading, math, computer literacy, Microsoft Office and career development. You also get one-on-one career counseling.
There are sites across the whole state, including one in Pittsburgh that will start its new season in the fall.
That’s not all the organization does. They also provide discounted transportation to those seeking employment or who are in career-training.
They have a clothing closet where, once referred, you can get free, fashionable clothing for job interviews.
They’ll help you write your resume, do mock interviews with you and get you individualized job placement. Childcare assistance is even available.
I know they’ve hosted a sort of job fair in the past where major companies from the region come with the goal of specifically hiring women. There seems to be absolutely no losing with this organization.
Jeremiah’s Place is a crisis nursery, but you don’t necessarily need to be in the middle of a crisis to utilize it.
Here’s the problem: in order to get childcare assistance, you have to have a job. Getting a job can be a challenge if you are bringing your kids along to interviews.
Jeremiah’s Place solves that problem by providing drop-in daycare services so Mom can go nail that interview.
They also provide services in instances of domestic violence, hospitalization, emergency respite and more.
The United Way
Check out your local branch of the United Way. In Allegheny County they are able to provide you with transportation assistance, programs at local colleges that will fund your tuition, programs that subsidize childcare costs and access to even more agencies that will help you on your way to employment.
Know of any other organizations that should be added to the list? Please leave them in the comments!