Purpose Prize Fellow 2009
Guterman is striving to break the cycle of poverty through intensive, one-on-one career coaching and related services that help low-wage workers map new career paths.
Guterman, a longtime career coach, wants everyone – regardless of income level – to feel inspired by their work. Wanting to serve low-wage workers, in 2003 Guterman joined Springboard Forward, a nonprofit that spurs people to develop long-term plans for career mobility. For that organization, Guterman helped develop the Engaged Employment program, which partners with businesses to provide career support to low-wage workers, with the goal of improving retention, performance, and customer service. As part of the program, Guterman designed an in-depth, one-day career discovery workshop that encourages workers to see their jobs as stepping stones to success, rather than dead ends. Also for Springboard Forward, Guterman created a vigorous vetting process for recruiting a pool of more than 50 coaches who provide one-on-one counseling. According to an independent review, 44 percent of Engaged Employment participants received a raise or promotion within four months, and 79 percent have reported better relationships with their direct managers. As time goes on, Guterman says, “I am even more committed to using my strengths, energy, and enthusiasm to help alleviate the problem of poverty in the United States.”