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Press Release | Designed For Joy Partners with Shield NC in Employer Training Program





Launching Equipped Women Into The Marketplace


RALEIGH, N.C., March 22, 2022 — Designed For Joy (DFJ) announces a unique collaboration with Shield NC on specific business training and consulting to combat sex trafficking. This program is distinctive in that it empowers places of business to identify and respond to potential survivors of trafficking, prevent trafficking, and offer a work environment in which people who have experienced trauma can thrive. North Carolina ranks in the top ten in the United States for human trafficking cases.


Essential Training to Fill a Substantial Gap

Many recovering from the trauma of sex trafficking and who are working to rebuild their lives experience gaps in landing gainful employment. A living wage is necessary to protect a vulnerable person from future exploitation. There is also a need for a secure work environment where individuals who experienced substantial trauma may thrive. The combined knowledge and expertise from DFJ and Shield NC can make a more significant impact on the lives of these survivors.


Shield NC

"Often, businesses do not recognize their power in the anti-trafficking movement," explained Nicole Bernard, Shield NC founder. "With the right training and partnerships, businesses can be game-changers for survivors of human trafficking." Shield North Carolina is a Cary-based anti-trafficking organization working to prevent trafficking, affect policy and support restoration services. 

Shield NC provides training specific to different businesses' needs to help them become more aware of how they can better identify and respond to trafficking. As a result, businesses can impact change by addressing demand, ensuring their products have an ethical supply chain, evaluating their contracts with third parties that could be using forced labor, and offering employment opportunities to prevent trafficking of vulnerable individuals.

Logical Partner

"We envision a community where every woman has the opportunity to earn a living wage through safe and dignified work. We can't do that alone,” said Cary Heise, DFJ Executive Director and co-founder. With the expertise and history DFJ has as an organization striving to help vulnerable women, teaming up with other organizations with similar goals makes sense. “We are very excited to be working with Shield NC to start the conversation and train businesses to hire survivors. For women coming from crisis, living wage work is the foundation for freedom, security, and real life change," continued Heise. 

In this partnership, DFJ and Shield NC will develop strategies in collaboration with survivors to create a work environment in which a person who experienced trauma can thrive. In addition, Designed For Joy will cultivate relationships with businesses interested in hiring referrals from DFJ. Shield NC will provide the training and consultation based on the business's individual needs. From trafficking 101 to trauma training in the workplace, DFJ and Shield NC invites business leaders to learn more, visit designedforjoy.com and shieldnc.org




Designed For Joy and Shield NC will be hosting an anti-trafficking outreach weekend in August of 2022. Join our email list here for information as it is available.



About Designed For Joy

Designed For Joy is a transitional work experience for women coming from trafficking, homelessness, time in prison, overcoming addiction or other vulnerable situations. We provide living wage work hours while building confidence and refreshing resumes. 


The women who create our brand with us are those living at high risk for sex and labor trafficking and/or food and housing insecurities. We partner with long-running ministries or local NGOs serving women that may be coming out of trafficking, emergency situations, generational poverty, homelessness, rehab, or prison. We believe in a community approach. We provide the vocational resource component in this holistic care approach while our professional partners do what they do best.