Starting from humble beginnings, The Ladder Alliance has grown to impact thousands of individuals.
Sharon Cox, a high school business computer teacher in El Paso, TX founded The Ladder Alliance after realizing most of her students were living in poverty and were the children of migrant farm workers.
Knowing that computer skills were essential to employment in a technical job market, Sharon realized that the computer skills her students were learning would assure they could secure employment following graduation.
In 2001, following a move to Fort Worth, Sharon realized her dream of opening a non-profit that focused on teaching computer skills to women victims of domestic violence and low-income women.
In January of 2003, The Ladder Alliance held its first class consisting of seven students from Women’s Haven (now SafeHaven) in donated space at First Christian Church.
In 2015, the second training program, Professional Office Skills Training, was developed to provide more advanced skills geared towards administrative level careers. The Ladder Alliance partnered with the TCU education department to develop a Business Communications curriculum to be added to the program.
In 2017, The Ladder Alliance begins development of the Certification Program to become a Microsoft Office Specialist Program to serve ESL learners in the Tarrant County Adult Education & Literacy Consortium.
Sharon Cox retired in April of 2019, and The Ladder Alliance welcomes its new CEO Bliss Coulter. Upon arrival, Bliss conduced considerable evaluation of the programs, client needs, service gaps and barriers, as well as identifying equity gaps. To address those needs, she recommended the implementation of Professional Development Seminar to provide one-day training to those with immediate needs. This new program began summer of 2019.
Of the equity gaps identified, one of the most critical was the lack of bilingual services. To address this, The Ladder Alliance has hired their first Bilingual instructor and are now offering Basic Computer Skills Training and Professional Development Seminars in Spanish as of summer of 2020. This focus on inclusivity allows us to serve a vast amount of our Hispanic population that has not been previously served.
In addition, Bliss did a SWOT analysis of internal operations. One thing that was evident was the need for family friendly policies. From that, The Ladder Alliance now has a Parental Leave Policy, better core benefits and insurance as well as a retirement plan.