History of CWEE

CWEE was originally modeled after a grass-roots organization in San Antonio, Texas called National Women’s Employment and Education. In November of 1973, Lupe Anguiano led 600 women, all low income residents of San Antonio housing projects, in protest against the Texas Department of Welfare. Participants in the “Let’s Get Off Welfare” campaign demonstrated their frustration with and disdain for the system by returning their only means of income: their welfare checks. They asked that they be provided with job opportunities instead. The local Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis took up the cause with astounding results. Within six months, hundreds of women were able to secure employment through private sector partnerships.


In January of 1980, Colorado Women’s Employment and Education was incorporated and the doors opened in 1982. CWEE was Colorado’s first program dedicated to helping single parents transition from public assistance into employment.


Over the years, CWEE’s program model evolved from knocking door-to-door to offer assistance, to securing contracts with the majority of counties surrounding Denver to providing qualified candidates to meet the needs of hundreds of local employers.  In 2003, CWEE officially changed its name to Center for Work Education and Employment.


To learn more about CWEE’s history, read this report written in 1985 by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC).


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