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The Women’s Fund of Herkimer & Oneida Counties awarded $20,000 through its competitive grant round this fall to two organizations working to improve the lives of women and girls in Herkimer and Oneida counties.

"The programs we funded this year mirror our mission of creating economic, educational, and growth opportunities for women of all ages and to encourage their advancement and full participation in the community," said Joanne Moskal, Grant Co-Chair.

The Women’s Employment & Resource Center was awarded a grant of $2,200 from the Women’s Fund to support their newly designed Excelerator WERCshop. Excelerator is a three-week intensive training to be held in spring 2017 that will teach basic to advanced Microsoft Excel to unemployed and underemployed women.

Approximately 75% of the women WERC serves have dependent children, stepchildren, or grandchildren for whom they are the primary caretaker or sole supporter. Women who seek support through WERC are often in the midst of a crisis, attempting to rebuild their lives and heal from the devastation of a divorce, separation, or the death of a spouse. Still others are in need of intensive training and support as they learn how to become self-sufficient after years of reliance on public benefits. The Excelerator training will help participants secure jobs that will lead to economic stability for themselves and their families.

The YWCA of the Mohawk Valley was awarded a grant of $18,000 to support their New Horizons Program. The New Horizons Program is the YWCA’s Mohawk Valley transitional living program for runaway and homeless girls predominately due to domestic or sexual violence, ages 16 to 21.

New Horizons provides intensive case management, counseling, support, educational and vocational guidance, and life skills education to young homeless women. The program’s focus has always been to help residents become self-sufficient and transition to independence. As a result, participants gained employment, furthered their education, engaged in community service, improved self-esteem and self-confidence, and became contributing member of the communities in which they reside.