Early bird special: Towards Employment fundraiser offers ticket discounts, California trip raffle

For nearly 50 years, Towards Employment has given people the tools they need to find and develop meaningful careers. With a focus on racial justice, skills training, job placement and support, the nonprofits agency helps hundreds of people each year.

To give Clevelanders a chance to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment, the staff at Towards Employment depends on its annual fundraiser—A Chance to Advance, this year held on Friday, June 14 at 5 p.m. at the Maltz Performing Arts Center on the Case Western Reserve University campus.

A Chance to Advance tickets are now on sale, with an Early Bird sale running through Tuesday, May 14. Attendees can receive a $25 discount on both VIP and regular tickets prices by using the code EARLYBIRD when checking out.

Dominick FarinacciDominick FarinacciIn 1976, Soad Mansour founded the organization under the name Manpower Supportive Services, to provide people starting news jobs with things like bus tickets and transportation to work, childcare, tools, boots, uniforms, health exams and eyeglasses. The organization changed its name to Towards Employment in 1988, still offering its original services, but adding modern-day technology approaches to job hunts and innovative programs—like WorkAdvance, working with MAGNET on the ACCESS to Manufacturing Careers program, and partnering with the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry to launch Achieve Staffing.

The nonprofit agency serves thousands of people from all backgrounds and job levels—highlighting the potential of everyone who comes to Towards Employment to help them succeed in meaningful careers by providing skills development for in demand jobs, career coaching, and connections to employers—while also working to create an equitable and inclusive workforce.

A Chance to Advance includes a musical experience featuring a partnership with world class trumpeter Dominick Farinacci. He has deep ties to Cleveland—including being a recipient of a 2022 Cleveland Arts Prize and is director of the Tri-C JazzFest Academy.

Since 2016, Farinacci has partnered with U.S. Army veteran Jaymes Poling to create Modern Warrior Live, a theatrical experience that mixes first-person narrative with music and multimedia to chronicle the veteran deployment experience and subsequent transition back home.

Additionally, thanks to funding from the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Farinacci partners with four Towards Employment alumni and staff to create a storytelling and jazz fusion piece around the challenges and individual triumphs that members of the community face during the reentry experience.

Towards Employment is also hosting a California Dreaming raffle as part of its fundraiser. Tickets are $50 per entry for a chance to win a Napa Valley dream vacation. The winner receives a three-night stay at The Meritage Resort and Spa, a visit to Jessup Cellars’ Napa valley tasting room and art gallery, a train ride through historic Napa with a multi-course gourmet lunch, and a hot air balloon ride at sunset over the Valley. Airfare is included and the winner does not need to be present to win. Tickets are available until the drawing at the June 14 event.

All of the proceeds from A Chance to Advance support Towards Employment’s coaching, case management, technical training, career matching, and other support programs.

The early bird sale for $25 off per ticket to A Chance to Advance runs through Tuesday, May 14. Tickets are normally $75 for regular admission; $125 for VIP. The event will be held on June 14 at the Maltz Performing Arts Center, 1855 Ansel Road on the CWRU campus.