Women to work program in Southfield paying dividends for those that apply

Niecy Mohammed left her job after 26 years after the nonprofit was forced to shut down amid the pandemic. 

The 66-year-old has spent three years in retirement and, after deciding that was long enough, went on the hunt for a new job. But finding a new gig can be tough for those out of the workforce.

That's when Mohammed found Gesher Human Services, which has its own Women to Work program. Along with a robust labor market and job creation still coming in above expectations, it lined up to be a perfect match.

Now she's at Presbyterian Villages of Michigan as a new administrative assistant. Fittingly, the organization helps set up housing for seniors.

For Mohammed, the experience has been an enlightening one.

"Just keep your head up - especially if you've been out of work for a while. Stay positive, stay open-minded and you may find something new that you can do that you didn't know you could," she said.

Even amid the uncertainty, Mohammed found a lot of people in a similar situation when she arrived at Gesher. They were more mature, more seasoned, and had been out of work for a few years themselves.

"(they) just wanted to get re-energized and re-motivated and back into the workforce," she told FOX 2.

Mohammed found out about the career center when FOX 2 spoke to officials with Gesher in January. 

"Women to work in a nutshell is designed to support women who are looking for help re-entering the workforce," said Jason Charnas, director of business and career services at Gesher Human Services.

The next round of sessions offered by Gesher includes eight classes running from May 21 to June 18. In-depth vocational assessments, help with networking, resume writing, financial management, and interviewing referrals. 

Learning basic computer skills is another task offered by the center - it, too, is free. 

"Niecy was motivated to find employment. She was open to any recommendations and suggestions we had. When we said there's a job fair coming up - city of Southfield is hosting, she said, 'I'll be there,'" said Charnas.

It's surely paid off.

"I love my new job because it is another nonprofit," Mohammed said. "Everyone who participates in this program, you'll meet new friends, and you'll enjoy it. Give it a chance."

An informational meeting will be held May 16 from 9 a.m. to 11 at Gesher's headquarters at 29699 Southfield Road. However, people are asked to register in advance. Those interested can contact Judy at (248) 233-4232.