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Hudson Valley Press

May 7th, 2014

WEL Foundation Donates Car to OC YWCA

Stu Berkeley, Middletown Honda General Manager; Gay Ann Puleo, Fish Window Cleaning at the YWCA Operations Manager; Christine Sadowski, YWCA Orange County Executive Director; John Luedke, WEL Foundation; Conrad Miller, Middletown Honda Sales Consultant.

NEWBURGH - The world’s a little brighter now for YWCA Orange County’s FISH Window Cleaning business thanks to the generous support from John Luedke, Executive Director and founder of the WEL Foundation. Luedke, working in partnership with Middletown Honda, secured a great deal on a new Honda CRV and is covering the lease expenses for the vehicle that will be used by YWCA’s job training program for women who are seeking job skills and employment in a non-traditional career field.

The new car will be used by FISH Window Cleaning Services’ sales team to help sell their window cleaning services throughout Orange County. Use of this vehicle by the FISH team will directly benefit women seeking to become more financially independent, as well as their families.

YWCA Orange County purchased the FISH Window Cleaning franchise in 2010 to help women in Orange County increase their job skills and their income potential by working in a career not traditionally held by women.

"We are exceptionally grateful to John Luedke and the WEL Foundation for the generous donation of a new vehicle," said Christine Sadowski YWCA Orange County, Executive Director. "Using this car will allow the FISH Window Cleaning sales team to more cost effectively cover a larger territory as they work to sell the services to private and commercial customers throughout Orange County. For FISH, more sales means more women that can receive training and the opportunity to increase their income potential in a non-traditional field," added Sadowski.

YWCA’s FISH Window Cleaning Services provides women with training, experience, and employment in a non-traditional field that will ultimately help them advance into higher paying jobs. The program aims to increase the number of local women working non-traditional jobs by providing them opportunities to work in the window cleaning business, an industry to which they may not otherwise have access. Making resources, information, and access to non-traditional fields as available to women as they are to men is a key part of reducing the gender wage gap.

This job training will help women enhance their income potential and improve their overall quality of life for themselves and their family. Statistically, households headed by single mothers are often the poorest. While this statistic is the result of many factors, one of the most significant is that access to jobs is often based on gender. For many women who choose not to attend college or who cannot afford higher education, the traditional job route takes them to women-occupied jobs (e.g. childcare, home health care aid) paying minimum wage. Men who do not attend college, however, most often opt for traditionally male-dominated skilled labor jobs with starting pay as high as $25-$35 an hour. By helping women gain the skills to compete in these higher paying fields through their training with FISH Window Cleaning Services, YWCA hopes to help them enhance their long-term income potential.

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