Kent-Ionia Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class

Women’s Caucus raises $1,300 for Women’s Resource Center of Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS February 16, 2016– The Kent-Ionia Labor Council’s Women’s Caucus made a donation of just over $1,300 to the Women’s Resource Center of Grand Rapids today. The money will go toward helping women prepare for and secure meaningful employment during transitional periods of their lives.

Members of the KICLC Women's Caucus presented the Women's Resource Center with a check for $1,301.57. From left, WRC Development Manager Brooke Detgen, WRC Executive Director Sharon Caldwell, Women's Caucus chair Lisa Bennett (OPEIU) and Lisa Angus (GREIU).

From left, WRC Development Manager Brooke Detgen, WRC Executive Director Sharon Caldwell, Women’s Caucus chair Lisa Bennett (OPEIU) and Lisa Angus (GREIU).

Since early December the Women’s Caucus has been collecting money for the WRC. Through the generosity of local unions, individual donors and other organizations, they were able to present the leadership at the WRC with checks totaling $1,301.57.

In December, there were two fundraisers– one at Beltline Bar and another at Uccello’s in Rockford– where a percentage of the evening’s receipts were appropriated for the WRC. Several generous individuals also opened their wallets in support of the WRC over the past few months. And the Grand Rapids Public Employees Union (GREIU) and the board of the Kent-Ionia Labor Council also contributed generously to the cause.

“The generosity of the labor community is amazing,” said Women’s Caucus chair Lisa Bennett (AIL/OPEIU Local 277). “Everyone that wrote a check, or donated online, or even had a nice dinner out with their family during our fundraising events has helped to empower women in Grand Rapids.”

Since 1973, the Women’s Resource Center advocates for women to achieve economic independence through meaningful employment. Their programs and services empower and educate. They partner with caring individuals and organizations throughout West Michigan to purposefully transform the employment outcomes for all women.

Women’s Resource Center uses a combination of professional, experienced staff and carefully trained volunteers to mentor participants regarding securing a sustainable job. Their programs are customized to each woman’s needs and include resume coaching, computer classes, support groups, a clothing closet and mentoring.

Here is a snapshot of the women served by the Women’s Resource Center last year:

  • 648 women who were parenting a total of 592 children
  • Ranged in age from 17 to more than 60 years old
  • 62% percent were single parents
  • 70% earned less than $15,000 per year – not a livable wage for a single person, much less for a family

The KICLC Women’s Caucus meets monthly at the Kent-Ionia Labor Center, 918 Benjamin NE in Grand Rapids. Any women interested in advancing labor’s mission– higher wages, better benefits and respect on the job– is invited to participate. The purpose of the Women’s Caucus is to give women a larger voice in the west Michigan labor movement; to develop new leaders and activists; to discuss topics of special interest to women; and to seek out ways to serve the community. Meetings start at 5:30pm and run for about an hour. Union members and non-union members alike are welcome to attend.

If you’d like to help the KICLC Women’s Caucus continue to empower women in the labor movement, you can make a donation in support of their work through the Labor Heritage Society of West Michigan.


This entry was posted on February 16, 2016 by in Community service news and tagged , , , , , , .

Kent-Ionia Labor Council

The Kent-Ionia Labor Council, AFL-CIO is a coalition of west Michigan labor unions in Kent and Ionia Counties, based in Grand Rapids.

Address, phone, email

918 Benjamin NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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