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Women’s empowerment group to begin Oct. 23

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Family Counseling Service of Northern New York hopes to empower women throughout the fall and winter months.

The agency will again offer its Women’s Workforce Empowerment Group, beginning Oct. 23, to help women go from unemployed or under-employed to having a career or being promoted.

“This is for women who never worked or women who haven’t worked in along time,” said CEO Collene D. Alexander.

Family Counseling Service is looking for up to 10 women to participate. Mrs. Alexander said participants will communicate if they need additional pointers beyond the basic eight-week course, but the program won’t extend beyond 10 weeks. There will be a two-hour group session once per week, and a one-hour counseling session per week for each participant.

Mrs. Alexander said experts from the community will help participants build resumes, do mock job interviews, improve communication and decision-making skills, budget, and improve self-esteem, among other pointers.

“In the pilot class there were funds that allowed us to give each participant — to which four completed the class — they were given $100 each to purchase an interview outfit,” she said.

She said she hopes the agency may find similar funds for interview outfits for this group.

Women over age 18 interested in applying to the program may call the agency at 782-4483 to schedule an interview.

The program will be provided at no cost, thanks to a $9,000 award to the agency from funds raised through the United Way of Northern New York’s annual campaign. Last year’s pilot program was paid for in part by a $5,000 grant from the Key Bank Foundation.

Mrs. Alexander said all participants will also receive textbooks they may keep.

All women must be committed to the course and have 100 percent attendance, she said.

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