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United Way

315 N. Tioga St  •  Ithaca NY  •  14850  •  (607) 272-1520  • 

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The Mission

Leading low income women to the pathway out of poverty by providing them individualized career counseling, training and removing barriers to become job ready and find employment. WOC assists in removing barriers to employment by providing scholarships, guidance, and referrals to other programs as needed. WOC is committed to pursuing the mission by working one-on one with clients, providing them with access to a comprehensive program of individualized career counseling and computer and skills training to become work ready.

The History

Over 15,000 women and men have overcome obstacles and achieved success through our employment and training services.The Women's Opportunity Center will mark 35 years of Service to the community this year. Join us to celebrate our 35th Anniversary on June 19th, 2015. More details soon..

Senator James Seward (on left) and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (right), presenting an award to participant Louise Bailey at the 30th year celebration

The Women's Opportunity Center originated from a group formed in a local woman's kitchen in 1979 that helped displaced homemakers enter the workforce after divorce, separation, or widowhood. Since then, the WOC has been part of the statewide Displaced Homemakers Program, which now includes 22 centers across New York State.

In 1995, the Center incorporated as an independent not-for-profit organization and raised funds to purchase its current building at 315 N. Tioga Street. In 2002, the family of Mary Durham donated a second facility to the WOC to serve women in transition. In recognition of the Center's growth into a multi-service organization providing employment-related resources to a variety of participants, the board of directors voted in 1998 to change the Center's name to the Women's Opportunity Center.

We partner with the Tompkins County Workforce and are a United Way member agency. Donations are tax deductible. Current programs offered by the WOC include job search and preparation workshops that emphasize job retention and the development of essential computer skills, career development, and the success of families in reaching their goals.