Women who have children and those who do not speak English face unique challenges when looking for work in the United States. To address these obstacles, Susan Matteucci founded Southwest Creations Collaborative (SCC) in 1994.
SCC is a nonprofit that helps Spanish-speaking and immigrant women overcome challenges by providing employment opportunities in sewing, packaging, and tile work. Not only do employees earn a living wage, but they also have access to on-site childcare facilities; on-site English, citizenship, and GED classes; healthcare support; and other programs aimed at improving the quality of life for its employees. Today, SCC employs more than 30 women.
“If you want to improve the lives of children, you need to improve the lives of women,” Matteucci says. “If you look at our state, we’re not the wealthiest. The best way to improve poverty is to empower the community, really investing in people and creating jobs for people to take advantage of.”
SCC has been The Loan Fund’s client the past 15 years. “We would not exist if The Loan Fund did not help support us,” Matteucci says. “Anytime we’ve needed money to grow, The Loan Fund has stepped up to the plate. The Loan Fund really puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to lending for change and working with nonprofits.”