Women's Employment Network

The Women's Employment Network (WEN) was founded in 1986 to assist women in raising their self-esteem and achieving economic independence through sustained employment. Our vision is to advance positive change in the lives of women, their families, and the community, one woman at a time.

Women's Employment Network
920 Main, Suite 100
Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64105
United States


Sherry Turner

Management Team

Sherry Turner, Lynnette Williams, Amie C. Hankel, Teresa Ferris, Tonia Bomar, Erin Butsch, Mickella Shecut

Project Leaders

Sophie Klein


The Women's Employment Network (WEN) was founded in 1986 to assist women in raising their self-esteem and achieving economic independence through sustained employment. Our vision is to advance positive change in the lives of women, their families, and the community, one woman at a time.


Women with a wide variety of backgrounds turn to WEN. Some have been locked in trans-generational poverty with little or no work experience and only basic education. Some have been successful in the workplace, but after raising their children find themselves needing assistance to reenter a new and different job market. Some come to WEN with needs beyond finding employment. All of the women coming to WEN are eager to find a good job. Our core program and services, for which we are seeking support, are described below. 1. Assessment/Licensed Case Management: By the time women come to WEN they are frequently overwhelmed with needs and don't know how to begin resolving them. WEN's licensed case manager works with each woman to help her overcome the obstacles standing between her and ongoing employment, including but not limited to challenges with housing, domestic abuse, childcare, transportation and health care. Resolving these barriers to success removes distractions and allows women to focus on preparing themselves for the workforce. 2. Employment Preparation and Career Transition Training Program: WEN's curriculum, delivered in the five-week-long intensive training program, is designed to provide women with a strong foundation and an action-plan for success. It is offered eight times every year, and typically has 15 women enrolled in each session (approximately 120 for the year), and includes the following components: Career Exploration: Using assessment tools, women identify skills, interests and values to guide them in determining employment options, training needs and career goals. Essential Job Tools: Women create well-written resumes and cover letters. Interview Strategies: Participants receive an interview-appropriate suit from WEN's Clothing Bank and learn about presenting themselves professionally. Women practice interviewing skills in a series of mock interviews with volunteers from area businesses (which on occasion have led to job offers on the spot). Job Search Resources: Women learn how to search and apply for jobs, register with job search sites, and research potential employers with guidance from WEN's Employment Services Representative. Supplemental Workshops: These workshops further build the life skills of the women as they prepare to (re)enter the workforce. These are available to current students, as well as to our graduates. Topics include: Goal Setting & Time Management, Business Etiquette, Stress Management; Self-Esteem, Money Management, Financial Planning and Problem Solving and Decision Making. 3. Custom Job Search Assistance: For whatever reason, whether caring for an aging parent, working part-time or going to school, some women find that although they would like to participate in the Employment Preparation and Career Transition Training Program, their schedules and commitments are prohibitive. WEN offers individualized programing for women with specific training needs. Staff works with women to determine which parts of the structured curriculum and support services will help them achieve the next steps in their employment goals. 4. Career and Support Services for Alumnae: WEN guarantees continuing career counseling support for all WEN graduates who are given lifetime access to career counseling and resume updating through career and support services. Over 110 area businesses send job listings directly to WEN. Staff works with the businesses matching WEN graduates to available positions. Direct Special Assistance: Through our personalized and in-depth support services, we provide additional, limited support via direct client assistance to WEN graduates who need help with rent, utilities or transportation. Assistance in a time of need ensures that a bounced check or failing transmission doesn't derail progress and undermine graduates' ability to succeed.

Statistics on Women's Employment Network

Financial Statistics

  • Annual Budget for 2011: $788,470
  • Annual Budget for 2009: $739,192
  • Maximum Annual Budget: $850,000
  • Other funding sources: 39% annual luncheon and other special events 34% foundations and trusts 13% individuals 14% corporations / in-kind / program & contract
  • Religious Affiliation: None
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