I am devastated for all of us, mainly our clients, that an unprecedented number of women have left the workforce. Would you please support us in helping them obtain the resources they need to safely return to jobs with a livable wage and a career path?
Mana McNeill – Executive Director, The CareerCatchers, Inc.
Dear Family and Friends,
What is extraordinary? What is possible? CareerCatchers has helped more than 2,800 people since 2007.
In a job market still defined by the pandemic, CareerCatchers worked with over 600 clients from January to October 2021. Most of our clients— about 80%–are women, and most are the single head of a household. For them, COVID has made a fragile situation even more tenuous. To find employment, our clients not only had to hone workplace skills, but they also had to solve problems of child care, transportation, and often, reliable access to the internet. Their resilience and determination continue to amaze us. But the workplace inequality, as women disproportionately had to leave the workforce, accelerated under COVID and struck our clients. Their problems became our focus. Our initiatives during COVID have nearly doubled the number of clients served.
Adapting to our Clients Needs
A guest speaker at our weekly Job Club presented job interview techniques to our clients.
Clients enjoyed a rare in-person, outdoor, Empowerment Workshop!
To reach our clients, we increased our Job Club and Empowerment Workshops, emphasized training and development, and increased our staff to handle the growing demand. We used virtual programs and added new services, including skills classes taught by community volunteers. We match volunteers with clients for support with online courses. So far, in 2021, some 45 volunteers have donated 500 hours. We also developed a weekly email blast. Information ranges from CareerCatchers programs, available jobs, training and scholarship opportunities to community resources.
CareerCatchers’ growing staff!
Employers Seek out CareerCatchers
In a welcome development, CareerCatchers has been contacted by employers looking to fill jobs and asked to broker opportunities. Giant, CVS, Starbucks, Gregg Homes Services, and Goodwill have all reached out to our office. The Montgomery County government has also requested referrals to fill temporary positions for the past two years. CareerCatchers continues to advocate for clients, helping them navigate a way to find and retain meaningful employment. To ensure success for both employee and employer, CareerCatchers staff identify potential candidates, coach clients for interviews, coordinate interviews with employers, assist with onboarding, and provide intensive support.
Senator Van Hollen Visits CareerCatchers
CareerCatchers team with Senator Chris Van Hollen
In August, Senator Chris Van Hollen, a champion of workforce development, visited the Silver Spring office. We discussed how the pandemic has affected our organization and the increased support we provide as a result. The numbers are telling: in 2019, we saw 527 clients, and some 166 started new jobs, while 134 participated in training. In 2020, during the pandemic, we saw 800 clients. Some 106 started new jobs, and those who participated in training increased to 212. The number of clients who find new jobs in 2021 will likely exceed the pre-pandemic numbers of 2019. We were excited and honored by the Senator’s visit. We also benefited from his support of the AmeriCorps Vista program, which has boosted our recruitment and staff during this period.
CareerCatchers in the News! Recognition for our efforts
CareerCatchers received one of the nineteen High Impact grants ($50,000) from Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. This grant is in recognition of “particularly impactful work in economic development, job creation, STEM education, women and minority entrepreneurship, workforce training, and support for underserved communities.”
CareerCatchers was selected as part of the WTOP local giving effort, Local Live Initiative, and will be highlighted during the week of November 8-14.
CareerCatchers was selected to be part of the State of Maryland employees Maryland Charity Campaign. Employees may choose charities to benefit from fundraising campaigns.
CareerCatchers was on Montgomery County television (MYMCMEDIA), describing how CareerCatchers adapted and increased services during the pandemic.
CareerCatchers was part of The Nonprofit Show in California. One of the interviewers praised CareerCatchers, saying, “You are doing the work of the angels.”
Highlights from our Clients!
One of our clients, in telling her story, explains what is important to her about CareerCatchers: “They always give you hope. My life has changed since working with them.” Another noted, “2020 has become the longest year in world history, but CareerCatchers helped make it bearable.”
We congratulate SL, who recently earned a meritorious citation from her office. She is now a federal employee, recently remarried, a citizen since 2016, a mother, and a happy, self-sustaining client who recently bought her first house.
Kudos to NB, who came to us in 2014, homeless and previously incarcerated, recently returned to tell us his story. He started his own company, is hiring others and bought his own home. Please click here to watch.
Our clients who started jobs in 2021 contributed $5,200,000 to the local economy.
We continue to be inspired by their stories, talent, and perseverance and now ask your help. Your donation will improve lives in your community in ways that are simple, direct, and effective. We invite you to help us make what seems extraordinary possible.
We also proudly present to you our 2020 annual report
Volunteer Spotlight, Doreen Liberty’s Promise Intern
My name is Doreen. In 2021, I joined Liberty’s Promise and engaged with their intern program. I have worked with Liberty’s promise for 2 years. I am a student at Montgomery Blair High School’s class of 2023. Starting in July 2021, I joined CareerCatchers as a social media and fundraising intern. Interning for CareerCatchers was a perfect opportunity for me to learn new skills and to get further knowledge of the workforce.
Some of the projects and activities I was involved in include, preparing materials for weekly email blasts; participating in the weekly Empowerment workshops and Job Clubs; working on an executive summary of all grant applications; researching and writing content for social media and storytelling sessions, and participating in planning strategy sessions with the social media team. This experiential learning has proved to be valuable and I will always be grateful for CareerCatchers’ generosity of time.
Volunteer Spotlight, Wida – Liberty’s Promise Intern
My name is Wida. I joined the Liberty’s Promise program at my high school, where I am a Senior. This past summer I was accepted as a Liberty’s Promise Data Support Intern with CareerCatchers. Through this internship, I was able to improve my skills and learn new skills at Career Catchers as a data support intern, and hopefully, I’ll get to use these skills in the future. Career Catchers is a great organization for people who are unemployed, and we work together to help them improve their skills and find their dream job, and I’m so proud to be part of it.