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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).
"CWEE has helped me build my self-esteem. I feel worthy and inspired to do something positive everyday. Because of my wonderful experience at CWEE, I’m able to share it with others."
– Shawan, Alumni Award Winner 1998 & former CWEE staff member for 13 years
"I sit on many boards and councils but the endeavor that I am most passionate about is sitting on the Board of Directors for the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE). CWEE helps individuals receiving TANF get the education and skills necessary to obtain viable employment putting them in a position to eventually transition off of public assistance and hopefully out of poverty."
– Taryn Lewis,
Former Board of Directors
"CWEE has given me the confidence I need and brought me some hope through this difficult time in my life. I am really grateful to be here."
– Michelle, CWEE Participant
CWEE has been a wonderful and positive experience for me. I’ve updated my skills and am preparing to re-enter the workforce. It has revived my self-worth.
– Rochelle, CWEE Participant
"My advice for a new CWEE participant would be to go at with an open mind and be ready to learn. We're all here to support each other. Everyone at CWEE is coming to try and make a better life for themselves, and the best thing to do is just support each other through that."
– Natasha, CWEE Participant
"Presenting at CWEE is an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. The participants are fun, interactive and willing to learn."
– Linda Hicks, Premier Members
1175 Osage Street
Denver, CO 80204