Our Model


Our Career Pathway Model is:

  • Individual-focused: Right job at the right time at the right place with seamless and comprehensive supports in place.
  • Employer-focused: Deep understanding of employer needs that is responsive to hiring needs.
  • Advancement-focused: From the beginning of engagement, an employment plan focused on growing a career, not just a job.

Towards Employment connects people with jobs and companies with good workers. We provide the right service at the right time to address barriers, develop hard and soft skills, and gain the necessary experience to obtain a job and career.

In addition to job readiness training, our model provides supportive services that make a difference for individuals facing barriers to employment. We provide assistance for transportation, tools, and uniforms, and have a legal department that helps clear warrants, prevent evictions and foreclosures, addresses child support arrears, and clears debt. Most importantly, we provide career planning, coaching, and skill building through work experience and technical training so newly hired workers can succeed in their current job and then advance along a career pathway.

At the same time, we work with employers to provide training tailored to their needs and then source candidates that fill their talent gap. Over 300 employers have confidence in our proven training programs and personal coaching to prepare new and current employees for career success.




Towards Employment uses the WorkAdvance Model. This is a rigorously evaluated industry-driven Career Pathway model with proven results - the pilot demonstrated that comprehensive and aligned services helped 50 percent of the participants advance within two years, with an average hourly wage increase of over $2.

2022 Impact

1,836 People

Served in varying points of their multi-year career pathway.

250 People

Accessed credentialed training or paid on-the-job training

420 People

Placed into employment (245 with a criminal record)


Average starting wage for TE participants - $5.63 above OH minimum wage.

172 People

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


Average advanced wage.

75% Retention

75% average job retention at 90 days.

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

1,573 Supportive Services

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


At TE, we hear from many people that their lives changed because they found a good job. Often their first step was coming to a TE orientation. Are you looking for a good job? Sign up today.

Meet Elisha

Elisha struggled early.  He had a learning disability so school was difficult.

Raised by a single mother, he wanted to be productive and give back to his family and the community.  He came to the Youth Resource Center in February 2016 to look for a job. At that point, Elisha had never held a job, and did not have a career plan; but he had relatives working in the culinary industry so he knew he could start there.  He completed a 2-week job readiness training and started a 4-month paid work experience at Bloom Bakery (Towards Employment’s social enterprise) working in the bakery side of the business.

This helped him build a resume and provided him with a work experience he could share with future employers. In working with his career coach, he chose to pursue an opportunity with Step Up to University Hospitals and was hired at the main campus. He has been at UH now for 2 years and has received several promotions. He talks to his career coach regularly and is building skills to become a supervisor.


Loretta, a single mother of three with 9 grandchildren, worked as a State Tested Nursing Assistant for 15 years before taking a position as an office manager for a construction company. After five years, the company downsized and she faced the challenge of finding a job while raising her grandson on her own. She attended Step Up to UH and was hired at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center as an Environmental Service Worker.  In less than a year, Loretta met her goal of returning to direct patient care with an advancement to Patient Care Nursing Assistant after participating in training facilitated by Towards Employment. Loretta now trains new Patient Care Nursing Assistants on her floor and her manager says, “Loretta exceeds expectations - mentioned by both staff and patients as providing exceptional care.” Loretta already has another goal: “I plan to begin the Nursing program at Tri-C this fall semester.”

Thomas, Eva, and Therese

Thomas, Eva and Therese all attended Towards Employment Reentry Pathways job readiness workshop.

Pursuing TE’s assistance for different reasons, they became friends and found their way on the machining career path and supported each other through CNC training because they were all driven to succeed.

Thomas entered training right away because he wanted to learn Swiss Type machining. Now working at a career job with good wages and benefits, he says: “I didn’t have anyone behind me saying I was halfway decent until I had TE and the teachers at CITC backing me. When I started, I just wanted to survive. TE had an agenda and I am not done yet, not even close.”

Eva was working as a production line leader at minimum wage trying desperately to support her family.  She wanted more (a better home and school system for her children) but her criminal background was a barrier. After workshop, she enrolled in classes at CITC while maintaining current employment, was hired in a good manufacturing job and recently bought a house. “I was ready to change my life when I came to TE. I’ve accomplished everything I wanted. Now, I need a new dream.”

Therese could no longer work in the medical field. With support from her career coach, she applied and attended a training program designed to prepare machinists to work at a large manufacturing firm.  She finished her paid internship and has a full-time position now. “TE gets really excited when something happens for you. You need someone who knows how far you have come.”