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The Evolution of CLIMB Wyoming 1986 2007 2011 1985 2004
A Closer Look at CLIMB’s Early Days - The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has long utilized federal and state dollars to put at risk teens to work during the summer months.
After discovering that summer employment did little modify the behavior of at risk teens, Workforce Services approached Fleming and Associates, a mental heath care provider located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to develop a model that would result in increased self-esteem and personal growth for the teens.
Having counseled at risk teens for years, Fleming and Associates knew the behavior problems were a byproduct of the home environment in which the teens lived.
After examining best practices from existing models, Fleming and Associates created the CLIMB Wyoming program which shifted the focus to parents. The idea behind the shift was that the teenagers would more likely succeed in school and social settings if they grew up in a stable home environment.
The CLIMB program, which was created by Ray Fleming Dinneen, Psy.D, launched in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1986 with the goal of providing single mothers with the necessary resources to become self-sufficient and adequately provide for their families.
The program began accepting participants between the ages of 16 – 25 in the spring of 1986. The first CLIMB class consisted of ten single mothers.
The program was initially funded solely by the Department of Workforce services, however the program quickly gained local and regional recognition which provided for new funding sources via personal donations, foundation grants, and corporate sponsorships.
CLIMB has served 622 families in the Cheyenne area since 1986.
CLIMB Expands to Provide Services Across Wyoming
Having worked closely with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services since the inception of CLIMB, Ray Fleming Dinneen, CLIMB’s Executive Director, was approached by the Director of Workforce Services to submit a grant application to expand its services and offer its unique model across the state.
This one time federal money was allocated to only four states within the United States and was intended to address wage gap issues which impacts women.
CLIMB’s success in providing single mothers with resources, counseling, and training to earn a livable wage was the ideal fit for this grant money.
Having successfully submitted a grant request to Workforce Services, CLIMB was awarded the funds and soon began laying the foundation to expand its services across Wyoming.
While the core of the CLIMB program remained the same as services were becoming available statewide, the age requirements were broadened in 2004 to allow women of all ages to participate in the program.
In 2004, CLIMB Wyoming opened offices and training locations in Gillette, Laramie, Casper, and the Teton Area.
Since 1994, CLIMB has served 135 families in Gillette, 133 families in Laramie, 201 families in Casper, and 106 families in the Teton Area.
In 2007, CLIMB opened its newest location which serves the Sweetwater Area. To date, 61 families have benefited from CLIMB’s services.
Meet Nicole Nicole’s story highlights why CLIMB Wyoming was created, why it works, and how it strengthens families and communities throughout Wyoming. 2009 CLIMB Graduate – Cheyenne Age: 21 Number of children: 1 Hourly wage before CLIMB: $6.55 (Server) Annual wage before CLIMB: $8,515 Hourly wage after CLIMB: $12.00 plus benefits (Office Assistant) Annual wage after CLIMB: $24,960 Amount Invested by CLIMB: $16,410 Includes six weeks of job training, computer training, life skills, and parenting training, group and individual mental health counseling, work clothing, program staff, facility, utilities, and program recruitment costs. Increase in annual wages: $16,445 Return on investment year one: 1 to 1 Increase in lifetime wages: $498,784 (conservative estimate that does not take include pay increases and assumes retirement at age 65.) Return on investment over lifetime: 30 to 1