January will see the kickoff of a new program for Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region — a pilot program aimed at helping single mothers with job training and employment.

Dubbed Women 2 Work, the two-year pilot program’s ultimate aim is to help vulnerable children 8 and under to reach their full potential. The area Goodwill is one of two Northwest-based participants in the initiative, which will be funded by an $850,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Community partners work with Goodwill to assist with family strengthening life skills, job training and employment, with the aim – within four months of training completion – of placing mothers into jobs that gross at least 200% of the federal poverty level. Assistance will be provided to 140 women of color with young children.

Women 2 Work will focus on Lakewood, Spanaway and the Tacoma neighborhoods of Hilltop, Eastside, South End. Those areas have a high concentration of families with kids below poverty level (27 percent in Tacoma, 32 percent in Lakewood, and 26-32 percent in Spanaway).