We're committed to giving Clevelanders a chance to advance.

Are you?

Towards Employment has been committed to giving Clevelanders a chance to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment for over 40 years. We provide career planning, coaching and skill-building through work experience and technical training so workers can succeed in their current job and then advance along a career pathway. We also provide critical supports to ensure their success along the way, including transportation, uniforms and legal assistance.

Towards Employment is able to provide career services and chances to advance through the generosity of supporters like you.


Partnership with Dominick Farinacci & Jaymes Poling

Unique magical moment for 2023 featuring a partnership with Dominick Farinacci and Jaymes Poling.  Dominick is a world class musician who travels the world but is a true Clevelander, always coming back to support our city, and this year chairing the TricC Jazz festival.  Since 2016, Dominick has partnered with U.S. Army veteran Jaymes Poling to create Modern Warrior Live, a unique, moving theatrical experience that mixes first-person narrative with music and multimedia to chronicle the veteran deployment experience and subsequent transition back home.  With funding from the Fowler Foundation, Dominick and Jaymes partner with 7 TE alumni and staff to create a storytelling and jazz fusion piece around the reentry experience – the challenges and individual triumphs that members of our community face.  The evening will include a segment from the longer performance.

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Shelly Peet Headshot jpeg

Announcing Micki Byrnes & Shelly Peet as Honorary Co-Chairs

Towards Employment is excited, and honored to welcome Micki Byrnes & Shelly Peet as Honorary Co-Chairs to the 2023 Annual Event Committee.

Entertainment & MC by Sparky B

With over 30 years in the business, Sparky B is no stranger when it comes to hosting the best! Known for his crazy stage show, guests from all over the world have experienced true entertainment by the man himself. Join us at The Agora and see if you can try to count Sparky B's extensive collection of eclectic jackets!



Ticket sales close at 12:00PM noon on 6/7.

Please join us for a star-studded evening with world-class musician, Cleveland’s own Dominick Farinacci, live entertainment, good food, and lots of fun, all while giving more Clevelanders a chance to advance.

Event Details:
5:00 PM - 9:00PM
Wednesday, June 7th, 2023
The Agora Theatre
5000 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103


Your chance to win an amazing, once in a lifetime trip!

Win a 3-night stay in a 4-star Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, with round-trip coach class airfare for 2, and 2 tickets to your choice of an upcoming Las Vegas show! There are few places where you're this spoiled for choice when it comes to A-list entertainers and big-budget stage shows. With seasonal casino residencies by the megastars of the music world, the enthralling Cirque du Soleil shows, mesmerizing Blue Man Group and magician Criss Angel, you've got a lot of choices!

All proceeds go to benefit Towards Employment's services helping connect people to careers all throughout Cleveland.

You do not need to be present at the event to participate. Anyone can win!









100% of proceeds support coaching, case management, technical training, career matching, and other supports.

We believe connecting people to careers changes lives, advances businesses and strengthens communities.

All of our programs and services are rooted in a rigorously evaluated, industry-driven career pathway model with proven results. A five-year, national pilot known as WorkAdvance demonstrated that comprehensive and aligned services helped people to advance within two years, with increased earnings of up to 22%. Or simply put, the model provided a chance to put more money in a family’s pockets.

Individuals who come to Towards Employment receive job readiness training, options for technical training, work experience, and assistance with job placement as well as intensive case management, supportive services and post-employment coaching for up to two years. These are all critical to long-term success and increased income, which leads to greater economic mobility.

Since our founding in 1976, more than 200,000 people have benefited, leading to improved economic health for our whole community.

We invite you to make a difference - give Clevelanders a Chance to Advance & Pay it Forward.

For more event information, contact Adaora Schmiedl at
(216) 696-7310 or


Towards Employment’s Hometown Hero Award honors an organization, person, or group of people who are making an impact in our community by elevating and addressing issues that impact the individuals we support.

We’ll announce the 2023 Hometown Hero Award recipient during the event on June 7.



Committee Members

Carrie Rosenfelt & Grace Heffernan

Dan Arian
Brenda Brown
Ronnie Cannon
Timothy Chai
Joan Crosby
Laura Desmond
Marie Eslick
Brooke Hodge
Karen Jones
Megan Killagallon

Bola Majekodunmi
Melissa Majka
Sara McCarthy
Amanda Pacanovsky
Jill Rizika
Sandi Rosado
Adaora Schmiedl
Robin Smalley
Elizabeth Smith
Erron Toppin

Micki Byrnes & Shelly Peet
Honorary Co-Chairs

Meet our Honorary Co-Chairs