WOW is an awesome organization. The inter-generational mission and vision is inspiring and motivating. Through out the decades, WOW's programs and policy recommendations have been cutting edge, setting the bar for other allied organizations in the field of family and elder economic security. The workplace culture of the organization encourages and supports growth and innovation. I highly recommend WOW. It is as a great place to work and thrive. Those working with and for WOW know they are a part of something special.
WOW does a spectacular job with its research and reaching out to the local organizations across the country that directly touch the people in need of informaiton and services available. They have ramped up on green jobs focused on the realistic opportunities in the green economy of today and tomorrow.
The programs developed and furthered by WOW that have been extremely important to low income women in general and to low income women in the District of Columbia in particular, in my opinion, are those related to economic self sufficiency standards, the programs WOW developed for teenage girls so that they could get a sense of the realities of having a baby, the programs WOW developed for low income women to get training in nontraditional jobs, and WOW's impressive advocacy for the needs of low income women to Congress and to the White House. In my experience, WOW is one of the small group of nonprofits working for women where you find yourself wondering how so few people can do so much that is good for so many
I have had the chance to work with WOW for over 15 years to promote the adoption and usage of the Self-Sufficiency standard, as a modification to the federal poverty guideline across the country. The Self-Sufficiency Standard reflects the true cost of living based on the geographical location and household types. To date, we have seen significant impact on how the Self-Sufficiency Standard have influenced public policies and reshaped programs that deals with economic development, workforce development, and the safety net system. The Standard has helped many communities to rethink how they need to invest and realign their resources to ensure they build an economy that provides the proper safety net and livable income to ensure folks have enough to make ends meet.
I have had the pleasure of serving on the Board of Wider Opportunities for Women for the past several years. WOW is a uniquely important organization. WOW brings its deep and broad experience in program operation and research to bear in shaping national workforce development policy. As such WOW has gained enormous respects and a well deserved national reputation. WOW speaks with authority on issues of concern to working women and national policy makers listen.
For a number of years, I had the pleasure of working closely with the staff and Executive Director of WOW. We partnered to reach out to and engage women in the local community on issues impacting women and girls. We hosted numerous meeting and community events, educated women and girls on how to advocate, and advocated for them at the city council and with government agencies. WOW continues to lead this important work. The organization does a fantastic job of identifying needs, coming up with a range of creative and effective solutions, and implementing them.
The thing I love about WOW is that they are smart and strategic - and they hang in there to make a difference. Wider Opportunities for Women has been improving economic security for women and girls for a very long time. They often name the issues and frame the debate - and then they get down to work creating policy solutions. They do hands-on work with women seeking new skills and opportunities - and they work with state leaders, Congress and the White House to change laws and policies. If you want to learn about new ideas and concepts for economic self-sufficiency, work with WOW.
WOW has a long and successful track record of gathering essential information about the economic needs of women and girls in low income families and using that information to advocate for and develop programs that make a real difference in the everyday lives of thousands of women and their families.
I have been involved with hundreds of non-profit organizations--including in past years working as a federal advocate for women. WOW has the best track record I have ever seen of really serving working women as well as women looking for work. They simply 'get it' when it comes to the challenges of helping women get better access to better paying jobs. They also do a fine job educating policy makers about how low income women and their families can get out of poverty AND remain economically stable for good!
The Elder Economic Security Initiative being led by WOW has helped Michigan put together an Elder Economic Security Index for Michigan and Detroit. The Index helps me help clients with informed budgeting decisions if they are contemplating retirement. More frequently, it helps clients understand that it isn't their fault that they are finding it challenging to make ends meet using Social Security as their sole source of income, but that certain governmental supports (such as subsidized senior housing) can help bridge that gap between income and expenses.