CareerCatchers Inc.

A personalized approach to career planning

SILVER SPRING, MD   |  www.careercatchers.org

Mission

CareerCatchers' mission is to provide individualized employment and job skills counseling: To ensure stable employment and upward mobility; To identify and encourage participation in work skills and training programs; To enhance self-esteem and foster empowerment.

Ruling year info

2009

Principal Officer

Mariana McNeill

Main address

8720 GEORGIA AVE STE 205 205

SILVER SPRING, MD 20910 USA

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EIN

61-1588740

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

CareerCatchers' mission is to move clients out of poverty by helping them secure stable employment with sustainable living wages. The families we serve are largely low-income, and span the non-mutually exclusive groups of domestic violence victims, homeless, single mothers, the disabled, immigrants, the previously incarcerated, and at-risk youth. Our personal approach aims to help the population we serve develop career plans emphasizing workforce training and empowerment, through online courses and the use of additional resources for job opportunities. This often results in long-term relationships.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Careeer Counseling for clients not covered by grants or contracts

This program serves disadvantaged DC area residents who are not covered by grants or contracts.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CareerCatchers' goal is to get every client into training and long-term careers. By developing long-term employment plans, we help individuals find and maintain meaningful employment in career-oriented jobs to move toward self-sufficiency. CareerCatchers' overall model and approach has three essential components:
1. To provide personalized one-on-one employment and job skills counseling to ensure stable employment;
2. To identify and encourage participation in workplace skills training;
3. To enhance self-esteem and foster empowerment.
In the short term, we encourage participation in one-on-one counseling sessions that serve to improve psycho-social health using the Empowerment Theory (knowledge dissemination, access to training, counseling); build self-esteem; increase job readiness; and boost career prospects. Once our clients are employed, we continue to provide coaching in order to increase employment retention for up to two years

CareerCatchers' staff provides intensive, one-on-one career counseling to job seekers. These sessions include help with interviewing skills, job search strategies, and résumé writing. We also support academic achievement by offering mentoring through our volunteer program for certification courses such as GED preparation, ESOL, basic computer skills, and much more.

Additionally, we host weekly Job Clubs led by our team of experienced workforce professionals and guest presenters. Attendees are challenged to interact and reinforce their knowledge of evolving jobs markets and employability skills. Participants also benefit from group interaction, increasing accountability, networking opportunities, and emotional support that are designed to lower the risk of employment frustration. Discussion topics include Résumé and Cover Letter Writing, Completing Job Applications, and Mock Interviews. Much time is also spent teaching clients to build and utilize their networks in order to market themselves effectively.

A significant number of our clients are immigrants, with English is their second language. Our volunteer program matches these individuals with English tutors and other educators according to clients’ unique needs. Through feedback many participants have expressed a significant boost of confidence after receiving help with their language skills. Among the population we serve there is also a need to improve basic computer skills. To address this we match volunteers and clients to work one-on-one, and we also work with a volunteer educator who has provided a series of 6-week courses to help clients learn computer basics. In an effort to advance technical literacy in our community we provided clients with 15 donated laptops in 2020.

Since 2007, we have provided one-on-one sustained guidance to over 2,500 low-income and otherwise disadvantaged clients seeking careers with upward mobility. Our approach effectively offers services to residents through partnerships with over 60 county organizations, at least 50% of which contract with us to obtain workforce development services for their clients. One such organization is Montgomery College Community Engagement (MCCE) with whom we have worked for several years. Our affiliates also include community organizations that support people with food, clothing, and other basic needs. Through these collaborative efforts everyone who expresses a need -- whether social or technical -- stands to benefit, highlighting CareerCatchers’ commitment to meeting the needs of hard to reach populations.

Mariana A. McNeill, Co-Founder, and Executive Director, and Kunda Kunda, Program Manager, have over 35 years of combined experience in the field of workforce development. In 2020, with the advent of the global pandemic and to help cope with the demand for services, CareerCatchers expanded its professional capacity from three to seven. This expansion includes two AmeriCorps VISTA members focused on capacity building and expanded services; a Volunteer Coordinator; and a Career Coach.

In recognition of our ability to meet the increase in demand for our services from COVID-19 related job losses, between April and November 2020 we were awarded over $100,000 in new grants to help defray the expenses of offering new and expanded services. The demand continues to grow and we are continually looking for additional funding.

Of the 527 clients, we saw intensively in 2019:
• 70% found new or better jobs/promotions, and started training.
• We assisted our clients in obtaining over $50,000 in scholarships for workforce training and education.
• The total annual value of new jobs for clients was over $5,700,000 on an annual basis.

In 2020, CareerCatchers responded to the impact of COVID-19 on our clients and our community. We took a number of proactive steps to mitigate the impact. By raising over $100,000 in grants to expand our services, from January 2020 through end of October 2020, we accomplished the following:
• Became a processing agency with Montgomery County to provide Emergency Assistance Relief Program (EARP) payments to clients who did not receive a stimulus check or other financial aid. More than 150 families received over $115,000 in cash payments as a result of our efforts.
• Connected volunteers with clients to help them complete workforce training classes. We reached out to the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (MCVC) and other community partners, resulting in 20 new volunteers supporting clients who completed online training.
• Assisted over 123 clients who collectively completed 258 online classes using platforms such as Alison.com, GCFLearnfree.org, and Coursera.org. Ninety clients have attended Job Clubs workshops and other training classes offered by CareerCatchers.
• Increased outreach to our client base through weekly email blasts providing information on our program offerings, community resources, jobs, and training opportunities. The result is an increase in the number of clients served, help for people with unemployment benefits claims, and improvement in job prospects.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has affected CareerCatchers' adaptability and efficiency to serving Maryland clients remotely. From January-June, the year over year for clients served increased to 20%. 48 clients have started training resulting in a 180% increase over 2019. 150 clients attended our weekly virtual workshops with an increase of 400% over 2019. We understand many are unemployed and discourage during this time. Thus, we became a processing agency to provide an Emergency Assistance Relief Payment. Our clients are thankful for our positive guidance and extensive outreach. CareerCatchers encourage clients to develop their personal work skills at home. For instance, our virtual job club with a LinkedIn guest speaker excited our clients to continue a part two of the workshop.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

CareerCatchers Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CareerCatchers Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jane Kerschner

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/03/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/13/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.