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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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization! Simply stated, they delver on what they say they do. Lean and responsible management that have a serious commitment to their clients and donors. I've worked with them for 5+ years and am always impressed with the innovation and commitment they show

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an outpatient mental health practice, we have many clients in need of employment development assistance. We have worked with several different employment development agencies is the past but now we only refer to Jacob's Ladder. In comparison, this organization brings far more to the table than any other employment readiness/ development programs! Jacob's Ladder works with individuals from the inside out: meaning their curriculum starts with the person and personal development then incorporates employable skills while equipping each participant with tangible tools that help them find and land fulfilling employment. Their efforts to help individuals find jobs are unmatched in this community. No other agency goes above and beyond employment development like Jacob's Ladder. The after care, education, advocacy and linking is amazing. We do not refer our clients that are in need of employment to any other agency. Thank you Jacob's Ladder!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great organization, that clearly helps job seekers with the needed soft skill to be successful.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I found Jacob's Ladder this summer. Immediately I was surprised by the passion and dedication of the staff. Their passion for the mission of getting the community back to work is rivalled by none other. Their dedication to each individual that comes through their doors can not be matched.