This is the week to really kick off 2016. This is the week to finetune my passions in my personal and professional life. This is the week to focus on what is important to me.
One of the things that I am most passionate about is helping other women to be successful. That passion can take many forms, and one is finding success through good money relationships. A focus for 2016 will be the rollout of The Partnering Program…
WHAT IS THE PARTNERING PROGRAM?
Professional Women’s Connection (formerly Westside Professional Women’s Connection founded in the late 1990’s) became a program of Empower Excellence in the fall of 2013. It is a monthly networking program. Each program features table networking, individual business promotion, a member speaker, and informal networking. There are additional opportunities for members to actively market their businesses monthly and quarterly. The first location, in Westlake Ohio, has grown from 38 members to 64 members in 20 months. The second location, in Willoughby, Ohio, began October 1, 2015, with 24 membrs as of December , 2015.
In 2016, Professional Women’s Connection—Lorain County is being launched. “The Partnering Program” is also being launched in 2016.
Linking the business community to women entering or progressing in the employment market is not only supportive but also increases their earning power while increasing their self esteem and leadership skills. There are impediments for women wanting to network while they must maintain full –time employment to support themselves and their families. In addition, they may bepart-time or full-time students. Plus, they may be limited by the normal costs of traditional lunchtime networking programs.
“The Partnering Program” is designed to overcome these impediments while “partnering” women with established business members of the Professional Women’s Connection—Lorain County. This is a form of mentoring but outside the traditional walls of a corporation. The monthly program will be from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, which will allow the “partnering” participants—those looking to learn how to network as they pursue an education, work their regular jobs, or begin to build an entrepreneurial dream.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE PARTNERING PROGRAM?
To increase the success of women in Lorain County seeking to enter or progress in the employment market, including entrepreneurship. The project will have significance because it can be added to the other Professional Women’s Connection programs as well as be a model for future communities to use their human capital in the form of women business owners and professionals to assist those who are desiring to join their ranks, increasing jobs, increasing business participation, and improving the economic conditions of women all through Ohio . Through the success of Professional Women’s Connection, we are replicating the parent networking organization, and, yes, this program is being organized and developed to be replicable locally, regionally, and nationally. This is a new, affordable, solution to allow women who cannot leave their fulltime positions during the day and cannot afford the traditional events to network. In addition, there is no membership fee for them to participate in “The Partnering Program”. They simply pay a reduced rate only for the monthly event to cover the food provided. This is their investment in their own progress.
IS THE PARTNERING PROGRAM A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT?
- The following organizations are integrally involved in a working partnership with The Partnering Program in the following ways:
- Women’s Link of Lorain County Community College will be the administrative area in cooperation with the Lakeland Foundation serving as the fiscal agent for The Partnering Program. They are also a source of participants for the program.
- The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Lorain County Community College: Source of potential participants and space for monthly events.
- FEBE (Fostering Entrepreneurial Business Education (GLIDE, SBDC, Blackstone Launchpad, and Lorain County Community College): Source of participants. The SBDC, Blackstone Launch Pad, and FEBE are all on board to actively allow recruitment at their events of participants for this total program. A copy of the Blackstone Launch Pad brochure is available.
- Food Service of Lorain County Community College: Food Service
HOW WILL THE PARTNERING PROGRAM BE EVALUATED?
The goal for participation of “partnering” members will be 10-15 in year one with members of the Professional Women’s Connection volunteering to be the main mentors with all members serving as resources for the“partnering members”. There will be a “checklist” of progress between the two groups. Successful completion of the appropriate number of items, each person’s success will be personally determined based upon their point of entry, will determine the effectiveness for each participant. The final evaluation will include possible membership in the Professional Women’s Connection—Lorain County group in a category, which will be created for those successfully completing the one-year partnering, program.
All milestones will be shared with the collaborating organizations, as the success of “The Partnering Program” will be due in part to the participation of these groups in referring potential participants to the program. In addition, the use of social media will be effectively and efficiently used to document the progress of the program. The participants’ confidentiality will be respected.
IT IS WITH EXTREME APPRECIATION TO THE WOMENS FUND OF THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LORAIN COUNTY FOR THE GRANT DOLLARS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PARTNERING PROGRAM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FOUNDATION FOR THIS WOMAN-EMPOWERING PROGRAM N LORAIN COUNTY.