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The Women's Employment & Resource Center (WERC) at Empowered Pathways is a non-profit organization serving women in need of job readiness services in Herkimer, Oneida and Madison Counties.

Our vision is to have all women in need of work employed in a career which gives them satisfaction and respect. Anytime we have accomplished a goal or experienced significant success in life, there have been many dedicated people who have recognized our potential and supported us as we dared to dream a bigger, better dream. For many local women who do not have this close-knit pool of advocates, WERC  is that unwavering and essential support system.

WERC is the first step in the long, arduous journey to lasting change. Why? Because when a woman seeks assistance through WERC, they are no longer alone. We become their coach, helping them navigate and eliminate obstacles. We are their teachers, instilling confidence and providing a myriad of essential skills. We are their cheerleaders, rooting them on as they successfully chart a course from modest goals to big dreams.

For over 30 years we have helped women successfully enter the local workforce by providing specialized training programs and one-on-one personal assistance. We invite you to join us in our friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We are proud of our success rate —  80% of our graduates are employed within 6 months of completing our training! And there’s no charge for any of our services!



Ready to begin your new journey? Well, you’ll need to prepare, make a plan, and set a course. Let the staff of WERC help you on your way!

Our friendly and experienced staff will team up with you to help you achieve your goals regardless of your income, experience, or education level. We offer a wide variety of workshops and training courses, along with personalized one-on-one service.

We can help no matter where you are on your employment path.

  • Need to sharpen your computer skills?  In our state-of-the-art computer lab, we’ll train you how to be proficient with operating computers, aid in managing and completing online applications as well as streamlining your job search. We also provide courses on Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Whether you are new to computers or just need a refresher course, we’ll help you on your way.

  • Need assistance with resumé preparation?  Whether you need to create a resumé from scratch or update an existing one, we will help you create a resumé that highlights your skills and experience the best and show you no-fail tips along the way.

  • Have questions on cover letter writing?  No matter if you need help with wording, edits or are wondering what a cover letter even is, we will assist you in creating the finest introduction to help land you the interview!

  • Feeling foggy with job interviewing preparation?  We hear you loud and clear! Set up an appointment with one of our seasoned staff members to run through mock job interviews and offer the most up-to-date tips and trends in job interviewing. You will leave feeling ready and able to handle any questions that come your way.


Are you ready? Call us to make an appointment and discuss your options. We are ready to help you take the first steps to achieving your employment goals and making your dreams a reality!

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WERC is here to help you understand the importance of each step in achieving your employment goals. They are not pipedreams! Your goals are what keep you heading in the right direction to confidently overcome challenges and become financially independent once and for all.

Landing your dream job is not just a matter of searching for job openings; you need to prepare. The way you explain and organize your experience in a resumé, introduce yourself in a cover letter, and handle an interview can mean the difference between landing that dream job and losing it to another candidate.

Here are some of the important points that the experienced WERC staff will review with you as you start down your path to a better future.


Resumés are the old standby of offering the employer a glimpse of what you have to offer their company or organization. Gone are the days of a dull and run-of-the-mill listing of your job duties. Now more than ever you need to brush past the surface (or start digging deep) to find accomplishments that you made on the job and highlight those moments. New bullet points are fresh with actions you took and positive outcomes.

The best possible way to find your way across the table from a hiring manager is to start with a resumé template that is unique to you. From there you can create target resumés incorporating keywords from job descriptions that have your name written all over them.

We’ll help you begin crafting, organizing and phrasing the best resumé for you.

Cover Letters

A well-written cover letter sets you apart from the crowd and lands your resume at the top of the interview pile. It complements your resumé in such a way that it gives insight into who you are as a professional and offers a positive impression to the hiring manager.

Why write a cover letter? Cover letters allow you to introduce yourself and show aspects of your personality and work style that will fit the position and mesh with the business as a whole. Cover letters give you a chance to briefly touch upon any gaps in your resumé in a succinct and clear way. The rule of thumb is to not go back further than ten years of work experience on your resumé, but what if you have relevant experience from fifteen years ago for the job in which you are applying?


We’ll help you craft a cover letter that shows how your past experience goes hand-in-hand with the job description. We’ll work with you to help you create the best cover letter that puts you ahead of the pack!

Job Interviews

Job Interviews are the chance for you to seal the deal! As nerve-wracking and inevitable as they are, there are strategies that are in your realm of control. With proper planning, such as researching the company and staff, clearly understanding the job description and writing down the right questions you have for the hiring manager, you are easing your stress level and making yourself much more employable.

You may be wondering … What’s the best way to prepare? How do you deliver a great first impression? What’s the secret to answering the tough questions? Our staff is extremely aware of how to prepare and provide you with the most specific answers to all these questions and more! WERC can help!



Have you hit a wall with your job search? Do you need a computer refresher course? Nervous about job interviewing? We can help!

Job searching can be exhausting, overwhelming, and frustrating. We know! WERC is the coach you need to help you train the right way. We’ll show you the best tricks & tips happening today to help you LAND your dream job!

One of the training programs we offer is the in-depth Professional Pathways: FROM WERC TO WORK program.

Some of the topics we cover are:

  • Computer and Microsoft Office training: Word, Excel, PowerPoint

  • The latest trends in resumé & cover letter writing

  • Essential & proactive job searching and interview preparation – Before, During & After

  • Strengthening your transferable and soft skills

  • How to give your best first impression

  • Customer service training that works!

  • Problem Solving and Time Management strategies

  • Guest speakers covering top career topics

  • Individualized follow-up assistance with your job search


Culminating with a graduation ceremony with certificates, and a networking event with top area business professionals!


To sign up or learn more about the From WERC To WORK  training, please call our office.

Don’t see the training you need? Call us!  We can get you started by scheduling one-on-one sessions and individual coaching on topics such as computer skills, resumes and interview skills.

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Our popular Suzanne’s Boutique is a huge success! The clothing closet honors the memory of Suzanne Lavin, a longtime WERC Board member and dedicated advocate for women. It is stocked with professional outfits and accessories appropriate for an interview or a new job, available to all our program participants.

Suzanne and the Zonta Club of Utica teamed up to start our original clothing closet approximately 18 years ago. We are pleased to reestablish and support the clothing closet in her memory.

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But it is best if you hear from from some of the women who have received job search and training assistance from our team at the Women's Employment & Resource Center at Empowered Pathways. They generously share their journey and explain how WERC made a difference in their lives and helped them open the door to new opportunities. 

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