Last January, Compass announced a grant award that would be used to start a groundbreaking new program called The Transgender Economic Empowerment (TEE) Program.
This January, Compass is proud to announce that the program is underway and accepting clients.
The program’s purpose is to help transgender individuals, particularly trans women, become job-ready through assistance with resumes, wardrobe building, and interview skills. Trans women are far more likely than cisgender individuals to be discriminated against in the workplace and to be the victims of violence.
Program staff will also work with area businesses interested in being employer partners in the program. Becoming a partner will require undergoing an assessment to determine the business’s trans-inclusivity in everything from company culture, all-gender restrooms, types of medical benefits offered, and how they treat trans-identifying and non-binary customers and employees.
For those businesses who are not yet able to achieve Compass’s seal of trans-inclusivity, staff will offer training for their leadership and employees, and work with them to hit the necessary benchmarks to become employer partners.
“Trans women face many challenges in finding safe, reliable employment — from navigating the use of their chosen name to a lack of knowledge about appropriate work attire, as well as feeling safe, respected, and welcome in the workplace,” explains Jackie Brown, coordinator of the TEE program. “This program offers these women real hope in making the most of themselves, and will connect them to other resources that they may need, like mental health therapy, financial assistance, and other resources crucial to success in the workplace.”
Compass is grateful to its premier sponsors of the TEE program, The Jewish Women’s Foundation and most recently, Macy’s.
“JWF believes all women, including trans women, should be able to live their lives to the fullest extent and with dignity,” says Jennifer Kryshka, CEO of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches. “Trans women face disproportionate amounts of discrimination in the workplace and our hope is that the Trans Economic Empowerment Program will help trans women obtain employment and therefore economic security. Every woman deserves the opportunity to be safe and secure.”
Compass Community Center’s mission is to engage, empower and enrich the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and those impacted by HIV and AIDS.