March 1, 2014

Learn About The Program


The mission of VFC is to build individual self-sufficiency and financial stability through education, training and support; and to systemically initiate changes that provide long-term solutions to the problem of poverty in ways that build prosperity, and economic opportunities, and enhance the general well-being of all participants. VFC created and now implements a workforce empowerment curriculum entitled Choosing To Thrive©. Choosing To Thrive© is a workforce empowerment program offered by VFC that provides cutting-edge training that assists individuals struggling in poverty to secure and maintain employment.  The program is broken into 3 phases: First, an accelerated three-week workforce empowerment training.  Second, job attainment activities and goal setting (such as resume writing, mock interviews, job selection and application assistance). Third, long-term employment support, once program participants attain employment.


The Visions For Change month-long workshop begins around the first business day of the month, where all participants will come to the Visions For Change office and immediately meet with VFC staff and other participants. The participants present on day one will become your advocates and friends over the next several weeks. Once introductions are complete, you will be paired up with 5-6 other participants who will make up your cohort. You will do all workshops and trainings over the next three weeks with this group. Once the first three weeks of the workshop are complete, you will begin working with the VFC staff on an individual level to determine a plan to best address your career/employment goals. Over the next few weeks, you will work in the computer lab and with “job coaches” to perfect your resume and interviewing skills. During this time, you will also begin applying to several positions you are interested in. Once you have obtained an offer for employment and begun working, the VFC staff will be there to support you throughout: constant communication, advice, support, and a car-matching program will help you to thrive in this new adventure. Support through VFC will be offered for one year following employment.


The Choosing to Thrive program enrolls individuals throughout the month, with classes starting on the first day of each month. Participation in every class from 9:00am-1:00pm Monday-Friday for a full month is required. The program is completely free for Syracuse residents, and the program is held at 1201 E Fayette St. Bus tickets will be provided to participants, and a free ride to the first class may be offered.


For every dollar you save towards a vehicle, VFC will contribute an equal amount. Many individuals are derailed by not having reliable transportation to/from work; we don’t want this to happen to our graduates.






  • VFC exceeded 200 total hires for the program to date.  We are currently at 206 total hired (69%) with 166 (81%) currently employed.
  • We served our 300th client for the program to date this year.
  • In 2016 the VFC team supported 62 people in starting new employment; 7 (15 total) of whom are now living above the 200% Federal poverty income guideline and no longer receiving safety-net benefits.
  • Clients served in 2016 increased their total income by $579,268 and decreased their TANF benefits by $67,468.
  • We were recognized by the CNY Chapter of the Association for Talent Development for outstanding curriculum in learning and performance.

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