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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

From the very moment of meeting with Jane Norman ( Volunteer Coordinator at the time) who is so amazing to me, I knew that I was in a place that sincerly wanted to help people, but more importantly they wanted to help them in a way that taught them to help themselves. I wanted to do anything and everything that I could to support their mission, but I also wanted to do more than just volunteer my own personal time I wanted to involve the company I work for. So, I got the owner of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers to come visit Jacob's Ladder and after meeting with Jane Norman we provided free computer training to Jacob's ladder clients and started a scholarship program in which 4 Jacob's Ladder clients are pursuing Microsoft Computer certifications. The only reason I mention the scholarhip and free training is to encourage and urge any volunteer who is employeed to look for opportunities to involve the companies that they work for as well. Jacob's Ladder is unique and meets needs that are not being met by anyone else. The staff are beautiful and dedicated people who day in and day out do a job that few others could do and even fewer still would want to do. I appreciate, admire, and envy them all. Certainly they are blessed beyond measure by God to be able to have a career that touches the lives of so many people in ways that I'm sure that even they aren't fully aware of. Thank you God for Jacob's Ladder and the staff and all the volunteers that make it a success!!