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WAGES Results Show Steady Gains After Year One

// August 21, 2019

25 percent of participants reached educational goals, 24 percent made employment gains

In February 2019, we reported promising early results from the first six months of our WAGES (Women Achieving Greater Economic Security) cohort. After 12 months of WAGES, we are pleased to report the work of our cohort has shown steady gains.

Six-month results from WAGES

  • 256 WAGES participants who were working with our grantees received some combination of case management supports, employment supports, financial coaching, transportation services, child care assistance, mentoring, and housing assistance.
  • 40 of those WAGES participants made employment gains in fields such as early childhood education and child care, information technology, and financial services.
  • 66 of those WAGES participants reached their educational goals.

One-year results from WAGES

In August 2019, after one full year of the cohort, our direct-service grantee partners reported further progress against the same markers.

  • 428 women were reached through direct services across Colorado. Another 900 family members of the women served were impacted. They are significantly more racially and ethnically diverse than the population of our state.
  • 104 women (24 percent) of the women served made employment gains, 105 women (25 percent) reached their educational goals, and 7 percent reduced their reliance on public supports in the areas of income, housing, child care, food, and healthcare.

I really love my new job and I am so grateful (the program) connected me to these opportunities. Everything they taught us in the training was exactly what we needed to know for a career…and the staff are still there for me.” – WAGES cohort participant

Path to economic security includes steady gains and detours

“The path to reaching economic security is much like climbing a mountain – the ascension takes patience, persistence, and determination,” said Louise Myrland, vice president of programs at WFCO. “There will be times of steady gains and there can also be giant boulders, such as access to transportation and housing, that can cause detours and setbacks. We’re pleased to report continued progress, knowing that it’s only the first of three years that we will be working together.”

Throughout the first year, WFCO and its direct-service grantees have gained key insights about what helps to keep women on the path to economic security, such as incentives and tangible supports, program flexibility, and stipends. Additionally, it’s become evident that job training programs should include hard- and soft-skills training and address the social and emotional needs of participants.

Systems change through public policy wins affects all women in Colorado

While the direct-service grantees work closely with women and their families through job training and education, WFCO and its eight public-policy grantees improve economic opportunities for all 2.8 million women and girls in Colorado through systems change. 2019 Policy wins include improved access to equal pay, high-quality child care, and higher education and measures that make work really work for women and their employers.

“Whether a woman is working retail and earning a minimum wage or she is a chief financial officer making well over six figures, our policy work advances her economic security,” said Myrland.

Propelling further progress

As the WAGES cohort continues its second of three years together, WFCO reports that its cohort will employ key learnings from the first year to develop a key policy proposal for 2020 that will accelerate further economic mobility for women and their families.



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