A Bright Pathway: New Workforce Development Program

Something big is happening at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s new Helen Wright Center for Women.

Thanks to a grant from Wake County, we have partnered with ProTrain to form a Workforce Development program that will provide women experiencing homelessness with valuable tools they can use long after their stay. 

“We have funding to enroll 70 women at HWCW into educational programs where they will receive certification in classes such as pharmacy tech, medical administrative assistant, and physical therapy technician… living wage jobs.” Lisa Jones, Director of UMWC Crisis Programs says.

This program serves as an investment and pathway to self-sufficiency for each once the graduates leave the shelter. 29 women are currently enrolled and they are scheduled to complete their courses in mid-January.

ProTrain provides the online curriculum. Women are able to complete classwork and internships from the state-of-the-art classroom equipped with desktop computers.

Laptops have been purchased to allow for social distancing and continuation of the program despite challenges created by COVID-19. 

One of our guests, Carmen Huyser is enrolled in the medical administrative assistant class.

“When I came to the Helen Wright Center, I was just looking for help with assistance in getting a house and everything. I didn’t realize they actually had job programs,” she says.

We are so proud of this unique program that will change lives and reduce the recidivism rate of homelessness.

Photos by: Saadia Bookhardt-Smith