Women celebrate graduation from Christian Women's Job Corps program

Nearly 60 women ranging in age from 19 to 70 were all smiles as they wore rich purple caps and gowns during their graduation ceremony from a Christian Women's Job Corps of Tyler program at First Baptist Church Monday evening.

These women participated in a 10-week program with the nonprofit, which has a mission to equip women with job and life skills in a Christ-centered environment. This session's graduation theme was Flawless.

“We have all come here in a place of brokenness, with bumps and bruises,” Sherry Skinner, executive director of Christian Women's Job Corps of Tyler, said to the crowd gathered. “But the God that we know is wonderful and marvelous. He gives us new life and exchanges that brokenness and gives us beautiful flawless lives in which to worship and honor him. Many who come here are burdened with pain and oftentimes those who come are still dealing with difficult life situations. Our goal is to walk beside everyone who walks through our doors and to love them and prepare them in a professional way as they look to find employment in our community.”

The classes and topics covered through the program vary. One class called Jobs for Life helps women discover their professional and personality strengths that will help them with entering or re-entering the workplace and also teaches them how to retain their jobs and how to be professional at work.

"We want them to have a great foundation to get started," Skinner said, noting that they teach resume writing, computer skills and interviewing, help ladies shop for business clothes and provide a job coach through each woman's job search.

"Our goal is to get them educated and not only get a job, but to get a living wage that will transform their lives and the lives of their families," Skinner said.

Among this session's graduates, 83 percent were able to complete the entire program, 44 percent now have jobs, 80 percent showed marked improvement in their Microsoft Word skills and 88 percent showed marked improvement in their typing skills.

“We're not only trying to help women find employment, we're teaching women how to dream again,” Skinner said, talking about how the organization is helping the women they serve know that a college education is possible for them too.


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