Our Newsletter

Fall 2016

 

Dear Friends:

 

2016 has been a banner year for CareerCatchers and, as we finish the year, what better way to wrap it up but with the debut of our electronic newsletter!     I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the highlights of 2016 with you.

 

  • We received a one-year grant from Giving Together, for our work with young women aging out of the foster care system. In addition to this grant we also added Identity, Inc. as a new partner. We are now actively serving the disconnected youth in Montgomery County at Identity’s Youth Opportunity Centers and Wellness Centers.
  • We continue to partner with multiple programs at Montgomery College helping scholarship students complete their workforce development classes and start their careers.
  • BIS Global donated CharityEngine, a Client Relationship Management (CRM) software, to us for at least three years at no cost. With the pro bono help of 5 Information Technology professionals from Hewlett Packard, we designed a CRM system to suit our internal needs and reporting requirements.
  • To serve our growing client base Maria Dent-Turner joined us in January. Cintia Santos and Chris Stephens, also started part-time this year and they are working hard to help us.
  • Kunda continues to provide leadership in growing our partner base and at our long-standing partnerships with the City of Gaithersburg, the Family Justice Center, and Stepping Stones Shelter.

 

Additional highlights from 2016 are in the newsletter below.  Since 2007, CareerCatchers has provided one-on-one sustained guidance for more than 1,700 low-income and otherwise disadvantaged individuals seeking careers with upward mobility. We provide a unique mix of individual counseling, training and support.

 

As a small and emerging non-profit, we are at a critical point in our development; in order to continue to grow and expand we need your help. As you contemplate which charities to give to this year we hope you’ll consider CareerCatchers.  And while monetary donations are always appreciated we are also always in need of volunteers and in-kind donations.

 

Thank you for your continued support,

Mana

Mana McNeill

Executive Director

 

 

 

CareerCatchers First Friendraiser: A Success!
On a beautiful spring evening, 75 people gathered at the home of Rob Enelow and Amy Kossoff in Chevy Chase for CareerCatchers first “friendraiser.” We met to celebrate our clients’ success, and share the news about our unique mix of individualized counseling, training and support. The highlight of the evening was when our clients shared their personal stories – stories about how CareerCatchers’ counselors helped them acquire the skills not only to find a job but, more importantly, to move toward stable careers and self-sufficiency. Many of our non-English speaking clients left their native lands to escape war and poverty, and for the chance for a better life in America for themselves and their families.A happy result of the Friendraiser was that CareerCatchers raised over $10,000 including a challenge grant from an anonymous donor. The donor offered to match, dollar for dollar, any new money we raised to a maximum of $5,000. We succeeded; raising almost $10,400 toward our goal of helping economically disadvantaged men and women gain the dignity and confidence to be financially independent. Money collected at our fundraiser in April has been set aside to assist clients requesting services but not eligible for support through a funding partner.We want to especially thank Amy and Rob for opening their home. Many thanks also to the CareerCatchers staff, clients and friends who made this event so memorable.
CareerCatchers Receives $20,000 Grant from Giving Together

In the Fall of 2015, CareerCatchers was awarded a $20,000 workforce development grant from Giving Together, a giving circle comprised of like-minded, committed women who pool their funds and annually grant monies to worthy non-profit organizations.

The grant was awarded to pilot a program to help 15 at-risk young women, ages 18-25, who are aging out of the foster-care system and face huge barriers to self-sufficiency, gain skills needed for meaningful employment. CareerCatchers partnered with the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) and other agencies serving foster youth for this grant. C.A.S.E. runs the 3L Academy (Live, Learn & Lead) and provided the client referrals. CareerCatchers provided workshops, assistance with workforce readiness skills and intensive, individual career counseling that are currently missing from the C.A.S.E. program.
At the end of the grant, CareerCatchers met with 20 women, 8 of them intensively. For those eight women, 100% have new resumes, 65% started new training or continued their studies, 40% started new jobs. CareerCatchers will continue to work these women and is now seeking additional funding from other organizations in order to serve additional foster youth, both men and women.

A wonderful benefit of the grant was the addition of a C.A.S.E. client to the CareerCatchers staff. When the program began, she assisted in recruiting and cultivating new partners. She was so effective in that role, and interested in learning how to manage and use our Client Relationship Management software, that she was hired as a part-time, paid intern. She is now integral to the program and the hope is to bring her on full time.

Gifts that keep on giving..and giving…and giving!

A gift can open so many doors. In 2015/16 CareerCatchers received 20 laptops from the Alcohol, Tax and Tobacco Trade Bureau and 20 laptops from United Therapeutic, Inc. Software was purchased at a significant discount from TechSoup. And then what? What do you do with 40 second-hand laptops? If you’re the executive director of CareerCatchers you move quickly to give some of them to needy clients for a nominal fee so they can apply for jobs and update their resumes. Then you provide them to your staff and volunteers to maintain records and carry on daily administrative tasks. And you set up classes and start teaching basic computer skills, one in Silver Spring and one in Gaithersburg. And when a volunteer comes along and offers to teach QuickBooks to a group of clients, you say yes! And the ball keeps rolling.

Obviously we all can’t make such donations, but there are many other ways to help out.
· Help provide quality control for the database system, probably 5-8 hrs/week, inputting and checking data, running reports etc.
· Meet with clients to help them complete online employment applications, 5 hours per week
· Be the volunteer coordinator and manage the growing number of volunteers and their varied activities, probably 15 hrs/week.

Of course, when time is not available, we hope you will consider a financial contribution to help CareerCatchers provide the high quality services our clients deserve. Money collected at our fundraiser in April has been set aside to assist clients requesting services but not eligible for support through a funding partner. That stream of clients continues to grow and funds are always needed to provide their ongoing services. All donations are greatly appreciated.