Better Business Bureau Report for
Towards Employment

Better Business Bureau Report issued September 2017
Better Business Bureau Report expires September 2019

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Towards Employment
Address: 1255 Euclid Avenue, Suite 300
Phone: 216-696-5750
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1988, Ohio
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: "empowers individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment. Employment stability is a critical first step to move out of poverty. Towards Employment’s career pathway programming, partnerships, and employer engagement deliver programs to prepare people for jobs, build skills for jobs, and help people get the job, keep the job and advance into a career. To grow impact achieved through direct services to individuals and businesses, Towards Employment leads several collaborative initiatives to promote a better aligned workforce system as part of an inclusive economic growth strategy for NEO."

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Evaluation Conclusions


Towards Employment (TE) meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Every year over 2,500 people engage with Towards Employment to build or advance their career pathway. In 2016, Towards Employment placed 560 people in full-time employment, 358 of whom had involvement with the criminal justice system; and 145 people advanced on the job with an average increase of over $2 an hour. It partnered with over 300 employers to provide a source of reliable talent. Its programming includes job readiness, job placement, job retention and career advancement - with on-going career coaching and supportive services. Retention and advancement services include career exploration and coaching, professional development planning, personal wellness and workplace success training. Supportive services provide connections to basic needs for participants who encounter barriers during their job search/employment, and for newly employed low-income individuals who need temporary assistance to transition to employment. These include legal services to remove barriers to employment or job retention such as credit/debt issues, bankruptcy, foreclosure, or criminal issues. We currently have 62 staff and utilize an average of 80 volunteers per year. Towards Employment serves Greater Clevelanders living near or below poverty seeking to gain and retain employment and/or advance from a low wage job along a career pathway.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, TE's program expenses were:

Career Pathways - Reentry 1,897,815
Career Pathways - General 1,401,609
Policy & Strategic Initiatives 544,240
Total Program Expenses: $3,843,664
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Chief Executive : Jill Rizika, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Brian Lamb
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Partner, Thompson Hine LLP

Board Size: 23

Paid Staff Size: 62

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 2% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $2,994,964, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on TE's audited financial statements - consolidated for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.

Source of Funds  
Publc Support 2,843,558
Government Contracts 1,740,743
Other Income 228,059
Special Events (net) 151,406
Total Income $4,963,766


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 91%  Fund Raising: 2%  Administrative: 7% 

Total income $4,963,766
Program expenses $3,843,664
Fund raising expenses 71,201
Administrative expenses 275,950
Total expenses $4,190,815
Income in Excess of Expenses 772,951
Beginning net assets 1,821,329
Other Changes in Net Assets 23,200
Ending net assets 2,617,480
Total liabilities 670,365
Total assets $3,287,845

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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