Path Forward

Last week, I joined the board of a new non-profit called Path Forward which has a mission to get people back to work after they’ve taken time off for caregiving. Specifically, Path Forward works with companies to create mid-career internship that are an on ramp back to the paid workforce.

Andy Sautins (at the time Return Path’s CTO) and Matt Blumberg (Return Path’s CEO) came up with the idea two years ago. After running two cycles at Return Path, they expanded it to other companies including ReadyTalk, SendGrid, MWH Global, SpotX, and Moz.

It’s now an independent non-profit organization that was launched last week with posts from Fred Wilson (who is on the board of Return Path with me), Joanne Wilson (who is the board co-chair of Path Forward), Matt Blumberg (CEO of Return Path and board co-chair of Path Forward), and Tami Forman (Executive Director of Path Forward). And, as a bonus, Fortune had a long article explaining things in This Nonprofit Wants To Put Stay-At-Home Moms Back to Work.

I’m very selective about the non-profits I’m on the board of. While I’m involved in a number of them and Amy and I support many others, I’ve limited myself to three non-profit boards at a time. I’ve been chair of NCWIT for many years and co-chair of Startup Colorado since inception. Until last year, I was on the UP Global board, but left the board when UP Global was acquired by Techstars. So, I had an open non-profit board position and immediately said yes when asked by Matt given the mission of Path Forward.

If you have a company in New York, California, or Colorado (they are starting in these three states) that would like to start doing returnships, go to Path Forward and fill out this form. If you are ready to restart your career after taking time off, go to Path Forward and complete this form.

Finally, Amy and I are making a substantial financial contribution and would encourage any reader who (a) supports the mission and (b) wants to give back in some way to go to Crowdrise, hit the donate button, and help support our launch.

  • As Path Forward gets up to speed, consider adding “Volunteer” opportunities, to help participants with practice job interviews, etc. I do this as a Dress for Success volunteer – it only takes 30 minutes via telephone, but it seems to help a great deal.

    Also, I’d be happy to donate infinity free premium copies of my e-workbook for researching to prepare for job interviews: http://careerasaurus.com (reg. $25).

    • TamiMForman

      I like that idea. We are currently offering this type of support to participants, but through our partners and alumni. The idea of opening it up as a volunteer opportunity is an interesting one.

      • @disqus_SFEtiE7wHj:disqus, Yes, it does work well and volunteering like this scales easily, with a script of questions to ask and a bit of training, so the feedback to participants is actually helpful.

        If you want to provide the workbook to participants, please email me – mgav [at] enlightenedjobs.com – and I’ll create a code that makes it free.

        Lastly, as you probably know, if a “refresh” (or more) is needed on using software, Treehouse, Lynda and others offer free trials and are very easy to use.

        Please let me know if I can help. ~Mark

  • TamiMForman

    Thanks for the support, Brad!

  • Use streamlinksoftware.com’s Board Max product to manage your non-profits. I love this idea. My wife and I talked about doing something like this years ago with parents at a tennis match. We were watching our kids, and one mom was an MBA. One mom had argued cases before the SCOTUS. They were staying at home. They enjoyed raising their kids and being a very integral part of their lives. They also knew they were fortunate to be able to have the flexibility to be able to make that choice. But, once the kids were in high school, they didn’t want to go serve on non-profit boards or sell real estate or work at a department store. They wanted meaningful engagement where they could make money, use their skills, and have impact. Glad Joanne is heading it up.

  • TeddyBeingTeddy

    Love it. For example, imagine how many CEO’s are mom’s instead. And creating a bridge for them to get reconnected in the workforce, is not only good for them…it’s good for the employers too. Watch out fellas…we all know those multi-tasking, detail oriented moms could kick our @ss at work!

  • Caren Ulrich Stacy

    I’m a huge fan of this program! Note that the OnRamp Fellowship offers similar opportunities for women returning to the legal and banking professions. We are all in this effort together!

    • TamiMForman

      Caren — I often find myself mentioning your program. It’s such a cool model.

  • Can you share if this includes the older demographic that tend to give up or loose jobs while caring for aging adults?

    • TamiMForman

      Yes, it does. Our criteria specify that participants have been out of the workforce for caregiving — that can mean childcare, eldercare, etc.