Role of Intermediaries in Linking TANF Recipients with Jobs: Final Report. Implementation of the "Intermediary" Function: The Process of Linking Welfare Recipients with Jobs

In a work-based assistance system, intermediaries are an important link in a complex process that starts at the welfare office and ends when a recipient is placed in a job.В  Since most TANF recipients are required to look for work prior to participating in other employment preparation activities, many intermediaries provide very similar services to help TANF recipients find employment.В  Features that distinguish one intermediary from another include how they structure their job search programs, their ability to link clients with ancillary services and the extent to which services are provided after a client finds employment.В  Another important feature that distinguishes one intermediary from another is their approach to job development, especially their ability to establish ongoing working relationships with employers.В  Key to their success is the development of strong links to and ongoing communication with the welfare office or other administrative entity that controls the flow of TANF clients to them.

In this chapter, we examine the process through which intermediaries link welfare recipients with jobs.В  We start by examining how welfare recipients are linked with intermediaries.В  We then discuss the services intermediaries provide to prepare recipients for employment and how they identify job openings to place them in employment.В  Our key findings are summarized in Table III.1.


Table III.1
The Process of Linking TANF Recipients with Jobs
Linking Welfare Recipients with Intermediaries
  • The path that a welfare recipient takes to get to an intermediary ranges from a simple referral from the welfare office to a complex chain of referrals from one intermediary to another.
  • To enforce mandatory participation, the referral process is often tightly defined and monitored, making it difficult for intermediaries outside of the primary TANF employment system to receive referrals.
Linking Welfare Recipients with Employers
  • In the current work first environment, intermediaries providing primary employment services are distinguished by their approach to helping clients find employment, their ability to link clients with ancillary services and their approach to job development rather than the specific services they provide.
  • Intermediaries that provide secondary employment services provide a diverse set of services to TANF recipients.В  The focus of these services reflects the priorities of the local community.
  • Employers value the work of intermediaries.В  Intermediaries help employers to expand their applicant pool and reduce their costs of hiring new employees.

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