Jacob’s Ladder Job Center, Inc. Makes Urgent Plea for Emergency Funding to Provide Continued Assistance to Unemployed

Jacob’s Ladder Job Center, Inc. (JLJC) is in a financial crisis and needs to raise $200,000 by August 15 to continue its mission of putting people back to work, to keep their core program at The Plaza operating and avoid layoffs.

“Unfortunately, due to a series of unexpected circumstances, Jacob’s Ladder Job Center is suddenly facing the most critical time in our history so we are reaching out to the Charlotte community for support,” said Holly Cummings, who became Executive Director at the end of March. “Through the leadership transition last year from a long-term executive director to an interim and now to me, we missed out on some key fundraising and grant opportunities. Coupled with the economic downturn, I’m afraid the very future of our organization is at stake and we are in dire financial need.”

From its beginning 14 years ago as a response to the Welfare-to-Work movement and chronic unemployment in inner city neighborhoods, to serving all of Mecklenburg County and beyond, JLJC has provided job readiness skills to prepare, primarily low-skilled, adults for their job search. When the doors opened in 1998, unemployment was just over 2% and was considered at a crisis level – today the studies show Charlotte’s unemployment rate is at 9.5%. As a result, the program has evolved from the growing demand and impact on the community to include a month-long program and the addition of a second facility.

As a grassroots agency, JLJC is well known for their quality work and has won several competitive, distinguished awards, including the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, Women’s Impact Fund, the Harvard Alumni Charlotte Chapter High Performance Workplace Award, and the LGA Goodstock Award. Between 2010 and 2011, JLJC served nearly 1,200 people, touting a program completion and hire rate of more than 70%.

Jacob’s Ladder Job Center must raise $200,000 by August 17 to fund the organization through 2012, giving them time to get back on track financially, thus enabling them to keep their doors open, continue services and avoid layoffs.

“The good news is once we are back on track, we will continue operating at a bare-bones capacity, and continue to set in motion an aggressive diversified fund-raising strategy to include grant proposals and other existing and prospective benefactors already in play that we believe will solve our funding shortages and restore us to the level of financial solvency we have achieved in the past,” says Cummings.

Ways the public can support JLJC:

· Make a monetary donation
· Request a matching gift from your employer
· Become a voice…share this story with coworkers and employers, friends, family, and neighbors
· Encourage your family, community and church foundation to support this work
To help JLJC meet its immediate fund-raising goal, donations of any amount can be made online from the JLJC home page athttp://www.jacobsladdercharlotte.org/ – click the yellow and blue donate button on the right column. Or checks may be made payable to “Jacob’s Ladder Job Center” and mailed or personally delivered to Jacob’s Ladder Job Center, 2304 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205. Additionally, credit card gifts may be made by phone at 704-332-5822.
Cummings adds, “We appreciate the community’s support in helping JLJC remain vibrant and able to continue its mission of helping people climb the economic ladder of success while building a stronger community one person at a time.”
About Jacob’s Ladder
Jacob’s Ladder Job Center, Inc. (JLJC) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, which helps unemployed and underemployed people find and keep living wage jobs. A member of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, Jacob’s Ladder was founded in 1998 as a compassionate response to the Welfare-to-Work movement and to chronic unemployment in Charlotte’s low wealth communities. For more information, visit www.jacobsladdercharlotte.org or call 704-332-5822.

Follow Jacob’s Ladder on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jacobsladdercharlotte, Twitter @JacobsLadderCLT and on YouTube atwww.youtube.com/jacobsladderjobs.