About Towards Employment

We have a single focus—jobs. The Towards Employment mission is to empower individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment. 

Since 1976, we’ve helped more than 120,000 low-income and disadvantaged adults in Greater Cleveland prepare for jobs, get jobs, keep jobs and move up the career ladder. And since 2004, we’ve successfully taken on the challenge of placing ex-offenders in full-time, permanent jobs.

We have been uniquely successful, due to these best practices:

We use a holistic approach…because finding a job is not enough.

People coming off welfare, out of prison or from the streets have complex lives—with multiple barriers to employment. To prepare them for long-term success in the workplace, we developed a “pathway” to employment through:

  • Job-readiness training, including job search skills as well as the soft skills needed to succeed on the job
  • Supportive services, including legal services
  • Access to vocational training

Research has proven that combining these key elements is remarkably effective for disadvantaged job seekers. In the 2007 “Strengthening Workforce Policy” study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, it was shown that this combination of services delivered the highest 12-month retention rates for new employees among 12,500 participants in six cities.

We build partnerships with employers…the critical link.

For low-income or disadvantaged job seekers, we are the bridge to Cleveland-area employers. And we help those same employers to find reliable staff with solid work ethics and skills. These are truly win-win relationships.

Employer partnerships in specific industries allow us to tailor our programs to their needs. For example, hospitality employers have helped design a customized class for those interested in work in this field, combined with a four-week on-the-job training experience, resulting in an 82% hire rate, and with those hired from this program retaining their jobs longer than those recruited from the general public. One employer experienced a decline in turnover from over 56% to 13% in two years of working together. 

We also partner with employers to bring support services and career coaching right to the worksite to enhance job retention among their entry-level workers.

We form collaborations…because complex problems need comprehensive solutions.

We seek out other services and programs to remove barriers to employment. Collaboration with other agencies helps our clients get a job and keep a job—by linking them to critical services including substance abuse and recovery resources, mental health treatment, adult literacy training and transitional housing.

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Learn more about how Towards Employment can help you.


The job candidates from Towards Employment always come prepared. They dress appropriately, are proud of their resume, ask good questions and follow up.

Advise Us!

We need to hear what works and what doesn’t — what are your hot issues with employees or your struggles with HR? When employers share their ideas and experiences, it helps Towards Employment to improve program quality and outcomes.

Contact: Chelsea Mills
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to learn about serving on our Employer Advisory Board.