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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jacobs Ladder Job Center, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Employment Preparation & Procurement, Financial Counseling, Human Services, Job Training, Vocational Counseling

Mission: Focusing on the age-old principle of offering a hand up rather than a handout, the mission of Jacob''s Ladder Job Center, Inc. is to help the unemployed and underemployed find and keep living wage jobs. Our goal is to help disadvantaged people achieve economic self-sufficiency and improve the quality of their lives.

Results: Jacob’s Ladder is a free, four-step job readiness program. Our approach to helping our clients become self-sufficient stresses partnerships with community agencies and local businesses. We are not a job placement center. We concentrate on teaching acceptable work ethics and coaching clients in the “soft skills” of job readiness and job retention. In our first 12 years, we have served approximately 4,000 clients with 2,000 securing full-time work. Several hundred more achieved part-time employment to build reliable work histories.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500+

Geographic areas served: Charlotte, NC Mecklenburg County and surrounding areas

Programs: Jacob's Ladder Job Center runs a four-step program that teaches clients such skills as resume writing, dressing for success and interviewing techniques. After a client has completed the four steps, we provide them with lists of openings from employers we have recruited to hire our clients. We also provide mentoring while on the job and access to a professional dress clothing closet.

• We pair clients with trained volunteers
to determine their needs, practice
interviewing, and prepare résumés.
• We teach clients to research employers,
create a personal job search plan, and
update the plan weekly.
• We provide bus passes or gas
vouchers for clients to get to
interviews and first weeks on the job.
• We provide free business dress to
clients who need it for interviewing
and first days of employment.
• We connect participants with local
agencies to address childcare, housing,
hunger, and medical needs.
• We support newly employed clients to
ensure job success and retention.
• We network with employers with
entry- and mid-level jobs, including
those who are willing to hire
individuals with criminal backgrounds
and/or limited work histories.
• We advocate for full-time work at
living wages with employer benefits.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I work for the most wonderful Job Readiness organization in Charlotte, NC. I am the Volunteer Coordinator/Program Assistant for Jacob's Ladder Job Center. Everyday that I come to work is a great day. The clients we serve come from different backgrounds and have many barriers. We seem to be more than a job readiness program, but a life skill center also. I come with the expectation of maybe helping one person everyday. I have a years of background in non-profit but this is more than a job it's a career. For me to watch the transformation from our clients first coming to us and then seeing then again the third week is simply amazing. If I was not an employee of this organization, I would still give Jacob's Ladder the biggest hats off.