Our long history of providing assistance to the residents in the Mohawk Valley and surrounding region goes back many years. The Women’s Employment & Resource Center (WERC) began in 1989 as The Displaced Homemaker Program of Greater Utica, while the Peacemaker Program was incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) in 1994. Over the years, the two agencies continued to grow. The Peacemaker Program’s services focused on families and individuals in the community who were facing conflicts without the tools to resolve them effectively. WERC’s services focused on women in the community who needed the skills, training, knowledge, and confidence to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Both agencies were dedicated to individual empowerment, serving clients attempting to navigate complex systems without the resources to achieve positive outcomes, and offering specialized services related to those offered by larger organizations but focused on a narrower mission. With that strong synergy in mind and the desire to make the most effective use of financial and human resources, the two agencies began discussions in 2016 to investigate potential partnering opportunities. The Community Foundation was an active partner in the discussions and recommended and helped secure the services of the New York State Council on Nonprofits (NYCON).
The result? On June 11, 2018, the Peacemaker Program and the Women’s Employment & Resource Center merged and officially became Empowered Pathways, Inc.
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Peacemaker Program and the 30th anniversary of WERC this year, Empowered Pathways is a strong agency and continues to provide excellent services. Our highly trained, experienced and dedicated staff and volunteers continue to assist our clients through a wide variety and extensive range of programs. Our services are divided into four categories:
Our highly-trained and experienced staff and volunteers at Empowered Pathways offer a variety of mediation services to address issues related to youth, as well as restorative services using the highly successful Circles environment approach to opening and continuing effective communication paths.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation allows people an opportunity to speak and be heard, while a neutral manages the conversation. It helps improve communication, improve relationships, and solve problems. Our professional mediators are trained and certified in accordance with standards set by the New York State Unified Court System, and their services offer real and lasting solutions.
Surrogate Decision-Making Committee (SDMC)
The Surrogate Decision-Making Committee (SDMC) program is an alternative to the court system to consider non-emergency major medical treatment and end-of-life care decisions for certain individuals who are unable to provide informed consent and have no authorized, willing, and available surrogate to act on their behalf. A hearing panel convenes, comprised of at least three volunteers appointed by the Justice Center, who serve their home communities throughout New York State to protect the individual’s rights.
Women’s Employment & Resource Center (WERC)
The Women’s Employment & Resource Center provides job readiness services to women throughout the region. WERC provides specialized training programs and one-on-one personal assistance, including resume and cover letter preparation, job search assistance, computer skills training, as well as Microsoft Office applications, interviewing techniques, customer service training, and many more workshops that build confidence and strengthen skills. WERC is also the home of Suzanne’s Boutique, a professional clothing closet with interview outfits and clothing for that new job. We are proud of our record; 80% of our graduates are employed within 6 months of completing our training! And there’s no charge for any of our services!
For more information about the wide range of services available through Empowered Pathways, please visit the “Our Services” section on this website.
At Empowered Pathways we believe people can embrace who they are, can define their future, can make a plan to resolve their issues, and will move forward and succeed.
The mission of Empowered Pathways is to help people create self-directed solutions and move forward with their lives through education, advocacy, and empowerment.
EMPOWERED PATHWAYS STAFF MEMBERS
Stephanie Dulak-Eghigian, Executive Director
Lewellyne Blanchard, AmeriCorps Family Services Assistant
Chris Boxall, SDMC Coordinator
Regina Brown,Youth Services Specialist
Jaime Cloutier, AmeriCorps Youth Services Assistant
Alexis Dekanek, Dispute Resolution Coordinator
Brian Jayakumar, Esq., ADR Program Specialist
Rosemary LoGalbo, Office Manager
Tim Lyon, AmeriCorps Youth Services Assistant
Kathy Peters, Employment Training & Outreach Coordinator
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kay Sinclair, President
Karen Korotzer, Vice President
Mollie Pulver, Treasurer
Karin Piseck, Secretary
George Murad, Esq.