Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. IV. WtW Services

08/01/2002

The underlying goal of the WtW grants program is to promote the long-term economic self-sufficiency of individuals who have serious employment difficulties. With this goal in mind, the WtW programs at the 11 study sites offer a range of services to prepare participants for employment and to help participants remain employed.

The basic approach to preparing participants for employment is to provide a range of pre-employment services to participants, including assessment of service needs, job readiness skills instruction, and help in preparing for and finding jobs. In some programs, in-house services are complemented by, or coordinated with, services available through TANF and other agencies; in other sites, all services are provided by program staff. The range of pre-employment services and components available at the study sites fall into four general categories, with variations and adaptations in different sites:

  • Participant assessment
  • Pre-employment preparation (including job search, job readiness instruction, and job placement)
  • Education and training
  • Transitional employment (including supported work, transitional work, on-the-job training, work experience, and community service jobs)

A distinguishing feature of the programs studied is that, in addition to assessment and job readiness activities, they all include more intensive components as well. Substantial portions of participants are engaged in other activities which, depending on the program, may be education, training, transitional subsidized employment, or supported work experience. All programs in the study sites conduct some type of assessment and some type of job readiness activity, such as job search clubs, workshops, or life-skills classes, and provide client-specific job placement services. WtW programs also continue to serve participants after they obtain jobs. These post-employment services primarily address job retention, although a few programs incorporate activities to promote job advancement.

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