By Bernie Kellman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —Finding a job can prove to be a difficult task for anyone, but it is even harder for those who do not have the resources they need to prepare themselves for job interviews and to write their resumes. The Syracuse Women’s Opportunity Center, is a place where women come and take free classes on how improve their chances of joining the workforce.
Kiki White, Women’s Opportunity Center Director, is a former recipient of the Center’s services. White was her parent’s primary caretaker until they passed away 21 years ago. After their passing White began to search for employment and turned to the Women’s Opportunity Center. After graduating from their training programs White began to teach classes at WOC and has been employed there ever since. Now, White works to make other’s career goals possible. According to White her most important job is to put people in the right mindset to get hired.
“Many of the people who are coming into the center are folks who have been through quite a bit,” said White. “They need that confidence boost and that empowerment to be prepared to go into the workforce and be prepared to be successful in the workforce.”
Felicia Saggus, a current client of Women’s Opportunity Services, says that the classes at WOC allow her to both better herself and empower other women around her.
“The instructor teaches us how to be confident and how to let go of our fears and to embrace other women,” Saggus said. “Once we’re done with the program we can embrace other women and show them the ropes.”
The Women’s Opportunity Center helps clients through every step of the job application process by providing classes on how to write resumes, network with employers, and providing clothes to those who can not afford them. White says that the community surrounding the WOC is incredibly generous and the clothes they provide for those in need are instrumental in the success of those searching for jobs.
A variety of recycled dresses, suits, and other items women need in the workplace are available for those who need them. Even the process of checking out these clothes has been turned into a job training opportunity. Before a client takes what they need, they first are required to learn basic retail skills, like operating a cash register. According to Saggus, people should know that there is no shame in getting the help one may need and encourages other women to visit the center.
“If there are any women out there that are struggling on a day to day looking for a job,” said Saggus. “You can come here and they’ll help you out. come in ask questions and they’re there for you.”
The Women’s Opportunity Center does not just help women. They will extend their services to both men and women who are living in poverty or qualify as a displaced homemaker. This means that no matter who you are if you need that fresh new suit or a nice dress for your job interview, you can stop by and they’ll do everything they can to help you land the job.