IT Works, an independent charity operating throughout Israel since 2006 that implements vocational training programs for a variety of disadvantaged populations in Israeli society, has announced four new courses and a job placement program beginning in January 2011 as part of their Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP).
The new courses are generously supported by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, California, with a $180,000 grant.
“We are delighted to support IT Works,” said Marvin Schotland, president and CEO of the Foundation. “The Women’s Empowerment Program is providing effective technology training and job placement services that is filling a vital need in underserved communities in Israel.”
The courses, two in 2011 and two in 2012, will empower over 80 women with technological training to help them integrate into the Israeli labor force with skilled entry-level jobs.
WEP, started in 2006, is designed for women ages 18 to 35 from the social and geographic periphery, who are either unemployed or are working in unskilled, low-wage positions. The intensive eight month program, which works with employers from the start of the program, teaches participants advanced technological skills, leading to a Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) certificate.
In addition, the course provides extensive professional development skills to teach participants how to secure a job, including: resume writing, interview preparation, how to search for a job and their rights as women in the workplace through empowerment training.
The distinguishing concept of WEP is a six month job placement period, in which participants are assisted by IT Works’ staff in finding secure skilled-employment in the technological sector. This unique strategy ensures long-term economic self-sufficiency.
"WEP aims to be the 'starting point' for these women by helping them build the foundation for a career. The program's main objective is to place these women into the skilled job market in Israel - these women, the majority of whom have been unemployed for many years, would most likely remain dependent on the State for many years without this opportunity," said Ifat Baron, founder and executive director of IT Works.
“We are grateful for the generous support of The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles for making these courses a reality.”
Recruitment for the courses began in early December. IT Works’ staff is involved with local youth and community centers and interviews women who qualify to see their interest level and commitment. The course is free but IT Works requires a deposit, which is given back in full as soon as participants secure a job.
The first course, launched in January 2011 in Jerusalem, included women from the ultra-Orthodox community. The second course will take place in February 2011 in Hadera, a town with a large Ethiopian community.
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