Grant Award: $10,000
CAP Services | Skills Enhancement Program

The CAP Services Skills Enhancement Program provides educational opportunities for women unable to access or afford it on their own. Qualified individuals (working 20 hours per week but earning an income that keeps their family below the federal poverty level) can attain short-term post-secondary education, such as an associate's degree or certificate, and develop skills that will enable them to compete for living-wage jobs with employer-sponsored benefits.

The program provides participants with financial assistance for tuition, books, tools, supplies, uniforms, training-related child care and mileage costs, along with one-on-one support. 

This assistance, along with a holistic approach to case management, includes referrals to community resources, help with problem-solving, career planning, interview and resume preparation, and soft-skills training which allows participants to tackle the great variety of barriers to becoming self-sufficient. 

The goal for this grant project was for 39 women ages 18-29 to complete their training during 2017 and secure new higher paying jobs, have access to benefits and reach their goal of becoming self-sufficient. 

The Skills Enhancement Program has been providing services for more than 25 years and has had more than 900 successful graduates! During 2017, the program served 180 people in Outagamie and Waupaca counties. Forty nine percent of those participants were young women between 18-29. Thirty-three successfully completed the program as graduates, with an average wage increase of $6.48 per hour and almost $17,000.00 annually. Kim Calmes, Skills Enhancement Program Coordinator says, "2018 is on track to be just as successful and impactful to those individuals who graduate, their families, area employers and the entire community!"

The Women's Fund is pleased to have renewed support for this program with another $10,000 grant in 2018!