FENTON, MI – In 1994, the Woman’s Missionary Union® held a planning meeting to discuss the development of a program to address the needs of women in poverty. There are now 200 such sites nationwide, and soon Michigan Baptists will have the opportunity to begin such a ministry, too.
The inspiration for Christian Women's Job Corps® came as a group of women visited ladies in the Appalachian region of the United States. They discovered that when women help women by mentoring them, both experience a life change. They felt this pattern could be replicated and enlarged by a larger group of women helping women. These events led to the birthing of Christian Women’s Job Corps® sites that now span many US states with over 200 locations. The National CWJC® program was recognized by the White House in 1999 as a viable program for assisting women in transition from welfare to work. In 2004 the first Christian Men’s Job Corps® site opened in San Angelo, Texas to address similar needs of men.
From its beginning CWJC® of Madison County, AL has operated as a “Church and Community Model”, incorporating Christian churches from throughout the county as well as community organizations and facilities. We are supported by the help of a number of churches as well as health, educational, government, and business organizations throughout the county. Our four school-type sites are made possible by support from many individuals and groups throughout Madison County. CWJC® is dependent on volunteers from these support groups.
The following services are provided by Christian Women's Job Corps® of Madison County, Alabama.
Free Job Readiness Classes
Our job readiness classes are designed to provide an array of experiences and skills that will allow our graduates to compete in the job market and create a better life for themselves and their families. We teach basic computer skills, job search skills, money management, communications, and most importantly, Bible study.
Volunteer Internship Program
CWJC® students with a high school diploma or GED participate in volunteer internships at local companies or non-profit organizations. The "hands on" experience is valuable in providing much needed job skills, an updated resume, and a good reference when the student begins her job search. The employers benefit as well from the extra help. If a company has an open position this presents an opportunity for both the employer and potential employee to determine if there is a "good fit".
Students who need to obtain a GED are able to benefit from one-on-one tutoring by our group of trained volunteers. The GED tutoring program is only offered at The PLACE Ministry Center. Students are tutored in math and English only.
Career Clothes Closet
CWJC® operates a clothes closet at our First Baptist Church site. Current and past students as well as anyone with a referral from an agency are invited to "shop" for apparel and accessories as needed. The clothes are appropriate for job interviews and daily attire for an office setting.
Computer Donation Program
Students that have graduated from our program, having completed both the classroom and mentor phase, are eligible for donated, used computers. Priority on the waiting list is determined by previous class attendance while in the classroom phase of our program. Owning a computer is important because it allows our students to continue to practice what they have learned in class. Also, if children are in the home it becomes a valuable tool for their class work.
Auto Donation Program
Some of our participants do not have reliable transportation. After graduation, each student has the opportunity to go through a separate application process to become eligible for a donated vehicle.
Cars are donated to CWJC® and then turned directly over to the graduate.
CWJC® of Madison County has set aside some funds as well as grant money to establish an endowment fund for educational scholarships for our graduates. Graduates of our program who desire to further their education may apply for scholarship money to supplement their own financial aid. If traditional financial aid is unavailable, our scholarships serve to relieve the financial cost of higher education.