A Chance to Advance: Capital Campaign – OLD

Giving Cleveland a Chance to Advance

What does Towards Employment do?

Towards Employment helps people overcome poverty, justice system involvement and other challenges in their lives to gain the skills and experience needed to connect to a family sustaining career. Our evidence based, employer-driven training and holistic support, coaching and mentorship combine to lift people out of poverty and towards self-sufficiency.

What are the challenges we address?

It’s 2021, and among many challenges, the minimum wage in the state of Ohio is still $8.80 per hour. Yet the MIT Living Wage Calculator figures a living wage for a household comprised of one adult and one child in Cuyahoga County is three times this amount — 237% higher than minimum wage.

What makes our solutions special?

Towards Employment not only focuses on placing and sustaining people in good-paying jobs, but provides holistic wrap-around services to help address the “social determinants of work” such as housing insecurity, transportation and legal issues, and to build life skills like financial management. Addressing these issues enhances prospects for job retention and advancement.

What are our future goals?




Million Raised
for Programming


Million Earned
by Grads

We are reaching out to people who have supported Towards Employment to share the success of the WorkAdvance model, which will help 3,500 low-income Clevelanders over the next three years.

With a goal of raising $3.7 million, we can extend WorkAdvance programming to every person who comes to Towards Employment.

In return, we project that graduates will earn more than $21 million in above-minimum average wages over the next 3 years.

Bottom line? Employers have better Million prepared workers. Workers have more economic mobility. End result, the whole community is stronger.

How would my support help?

Independence & Mobility


$2.2 Million

To bolster training, certification, and coaching pathways.

The right training, certification and wrap-around services are urgently needed to overcome the opportunity gap and build self-sufficiency and independence.

Infrastructure & The Future of Work



To enhance our mobile and virtual infrastructure.

Our training facilities need to mirror the work world which means upgrading our technology and mobile infrastructure to meet increased digital requirements needed to best prepare our candidates for success, leveraging learnings from the pandemic.

Innovation & Capacity


$1 Million

To allow us to invest in new approaches and build partnerships.

Towards Employment connects people to careers – helping them prepare, get, and keep a job; and then advance – in this way we change lives, advance business, and strengthen community.

Our Impact in 2020

300 People

Placed into employment (180 with a criminal record)

80% Retention

77% average job retention at 90 days

* New employees within their first 90 days on the job are most susceptible to job loss

182 People

Accessed credentialed training or paid on-the-job training


Average starting wage for TE participants - $4.81 above OH minimum wage.

85 People

Advanced on the job with an average wage increase of over $2/hour.

230 Employers

Hired TE Graduates over the course of the last year

776 Supportive Services

Helped overcome employment barriers like transportation, tools, uniforms, background checks and pre-employment screening.

1,189 Legal Cases

Opened for 460 people to remove barriers to employment/job retention: credit/debt issues, bankruptcy, foreclosure, or criminal issues.

Your Chance to make a Difference