OCS offering job training for women

Fifteen women will receive first-hand training this September at Oberlin Community Services to help find new jobs.

The non-profit organization has partnered up with HHW Ohio, formerly known as Hard Hatted Women, to offer residents of southern Lorain County a 40-hour career course called Women in Sustainable Employment Pathways.

It will teach women about jobs in the construction, mechanics, manufacturing, and energy industries. Participants will also create resumes and practice filling out applications and interviewing.

Courses will be taught by an OCS worker and someone working in the field to help the women get a better understanding of what the job entails.

OCS director Cindy Andrews said she decided to offer this course after seeing results of a survey she had clients fill out that clarified their needs.

The survey showed women had financial difficulties and a lack of affordable childcare.

“I was surprised by the number of women who completed this survey that already had their GED, had a two-year certificate or associate’s degree but were also $40,000 in debit,” Andrews said. “They have this associate’s degree but are not sure what to do with it.”

Andrews believes the best way to help these clients get out of debt is by offering training and career assistance, which this program will offer.

“This is a great pathway to then say, ‘I’ve done this already but here’s where my skills align,’” she said.

Andrews plans to work with local organizations, churches, and OCS workers to find at least 30 women who meet the requirements and then narrow it down to 15 people.

“We want 15 women that are helping each other,” Andrews said.

Those who take the job training course must have a GED, be drug free, have a valid driver’s license, and are interested in the jobs that are being taught.

Andrews said she plans to offer childcare and transportation to the participants if it’s necessary.

“We want to eliminate as many obstacles as possible,” she said. “We have a great opportunity here.”

Anyone interested in participating in the program should contact Oberlin Community Services at 440-774-6579.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.