TE Pathway News, December 

Meet Ellen. She wanted to work with purpose.  In August 2015, Ellen stepped up and onto a career pathway.  She was a returning citizen who went through Towards Employment job readiness program. She wanted a career in construction and after a work experience with Habitat for Humanity, she achieved a Level 1 carpenter's apprentice certification with just two levels left to become a journeyman.  She felt a deep sense of achievement but sometimes it felt as if she was just earning a paycheck.  She talked a bit to her career coaches about "purpose."  

Towards Employment was in the process of opening Bloom Bakery.  The shift supervisor slot was open.  Ellen's career coaches went to bat for her - they knew she would be perfect. Now part of the leadership team, Ellen is director of retail operations - with day to day responsibilities of supervising the retail staff, the catering business, and growing the sales of this social enterprise. Ellen often shares her experience with employers, funders and other Bloom visitors: "There are very specific hurdles we face that others do not.  Bloom's mission is to help people to learn a new skill and a new outlook so they are prepared for work.  When they come to us they may not be able to work that first job - after working in the bakery or on the retail side, scheduling and thinking through the day's next step are easier.  We help people so they are ready for the next employer.
"I feel I have purpose.  I am part of the first generation of Bloom employees - we (and I always include myself) have to succeed because we need others to have this chance."   Read more about the Holiday Shop at Bloom, spearheaded by Ellen, below.


Towards Employment is recruiting for employment opportunities in the manufacturing field. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) operators or Certified Production Technicians (CPT) can earn an average of $31,560-$55,430/year.

This is a great opportunity!  To refer someone, have them call  216.696.5750  to register for an info session (mention WorkAdvance) to get started.  For more information visit  http://towardsemployment.org/current-recruitment-opportunities/ ; includes information session dates.

Last week, Towards Employment staff participated in Making a Clear Pathway: Transitioning for Successful Reentry organized by the Literacy Cooperative in conjunction with Cuyahoga Community College, Seeds of Literacy, Cuyahoga County Public Library and Towards Employment. The event helped adult literacy providers develop a stronger understanding of the reentry ecosystem to better support students who have criminal records or are transitioning out of jail or prison.    Senator Sandra Williams  was a keynote speaker. 

Many individuals seeking adult literacy services have interacted with the criminal justice system. In Cuyahoga County 42% of inmates do not have a HS diploma or GED at the time of arrest.Read  MORE to learn more about who attended this event and why gatherings like this are especially important now.


Consider delicious baked goods from Bloom to help you spread holiday cheer-from customized gifts for your valued corporate partners to cookie and brownie trays at your get-together. Or, wow your family and friends with fresh-baked rolls or a seasonal pie at your holiday dinner! Gift cards are also available.

When you choose the gift of Bloom, you are giving much more than Artisan-crafted baked goods. You are providing individuals who have faced barriers to a steady job the opportunity to find meaningful employment and a path to self-sufficiency.   Give Sweet Treats and Second Chances:  http://www.bloombakery.com/holidayshop/.

"When Jill Rizika enters Bloom Bakery, she's welcomed with smiles and hugs.  The bakery is a benefit corporation owned by Towards Employment, the nonprofit she leads as executive director. Towards Employment's mission is to empower individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment and last year, Bloom Bakery became a part of that mission." 
Read more about Jill's Source Lunch profile in Crain's Cleveland. 

TE's partnership with LeSaint Logistics was featured recently on WKYC

Bloom Bakery's holiday cookies were featured on Cleveland.com as part of their profile on local bakeries. 

The Holiday Shop at Bloom was featured in Fresh Water Cleveland

Towards Employment | 216.696.5750 | info@towardsemployment.org | towardsemployment.org