Economic Empowerment Program

The Women's Economic Empowerment Program equips low-income and unemployed women with increased competence, confidence and connections so that they are better positioned to obtain employment, move out of poverty and experience economic security.  This unique holistic on-the-job training program offers hands-on job training for women, a weekly gender-responsive support group focused on helping women develop the soft skills and confidence they need to be successful, financial literacy workshops, unique career-oriented networking and wellness events, and professional clothing.  Watch Mikia's story! YWCA services compliment and work in partnership with other workforce development programs in Thurston County. Currently, the YWCA hosts women from the Commerce Community Jobs program provided through Pacific Mountain WDC, Goodwill's Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), as well as self-referred individuals from the community.
At YWCA Olympia, EEP participants develop administrative, marketing, customer service and technology skills by operating a small distribution, retail and customer service center (The Other Bank).  In addition to technical training, EEP integrates guidance & counseling through a weekly women's empowerment circle that is focused on emotional intelligence, social support, & effective communication. Women in EEP also have access to professional clothing needed for a job interview(s) or a new job through Kathleen’s Closet and they participate in several community-wide networking events that provide unemployed and underemployed women with exposure to careers and professional women in various career sectors. 
The Comcast Learning Lab, funded by a grant from the Comcast Foundation, is a critical component of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) fueling EEP’s job training activities and skill building workshops.  Utilizing the Comcast Learning Lab, the EEP offers training in frequently used programs such as MS Word, Outlook, QuickBooks, PowerPoint and Excel.  Other technology trainings and hands-on real world experiences include professional social media management, program marketing, successful email communications, and organization of electronic files, all of which help create attractive job candidates and successful employees.  The Comcast Learning Lab ensures that women enrolled in EEP gain the full benefit of the program by providing all participants with access to equipment and hands-on training opportunities, increasing their technology skills and confidence. 
To learn more about the Economic Empowerment Program, contact Heather Penny at (360) 352-0593 or
"I want to thank all the staff of  YWCA of Olympia, for all the encouragement and support that was given to me, which helped to find in me the woman I am now. I learned that information is power which has empowered me since the first day I attended. If I could do it again I would attend women's Empowerment all over again."