Understanding the Costs of the DOL Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. WtW Program Profile: Chicago-Pyramid Partnership


WtW Operator/Program:Pyramid Partnership/Projects Hyatt and Workwise

Grant Administrator:Mayors Office of Workforce Development, Chicago

Provider Background:Pyramid Partnership, Inc., was established in 1985 as a consulting firm specializing in staff training and development for service-driven industries. In the mid-1990s, Pyramid received state certification to operate a postsecondary vocational training school. Pyramid specializes in training disadvantaged workers for entry-level jobs using an employer-driven curriculum.

Target Population:Job ready people

Statistics for the WtW Program Overall Vs. The Cost Analysis

  WtW Program Overall Cost Analysis Period
Period of Operations

7/1/98 to 6/30/02

7/1/00 to 6/30/01

Funding/Costs $3,815,1500
(WtW grant/contract amount)
(total estimated costs for one year)
Enrollments Goal: 455 New: 130
Cumulative by end of period: 322
Unsubsidized Job Placements Goal: 223 New: 79
Cumulative by end of period: 263

Welfare-to-Work Program Services

Outreach and Recruitment:Pyramid received most of its WtW referrals from local offices of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Pyramid staff periodically visited the IDHS offices to conduct outreach to staff and to prospective WtW participants. Pyramid received some referrals from other social service agencies.

Job Readiness and CaseManagement:After completing an orientation, participants were assessed for potential barriers to employment and to help match them to employers. The assessment involved the Test of Adult Basic Education, substance abuse screening, a criminal background check, and a one-on-one interview with a case manager that included behavior-screening questions for work readiness. People with an active drug problem were referred to a facility for treatment. Those with felony backgrounds were either referred back to IDHS or put in placement services for unsubsidized employment. The remaining participants were placed in a four-week, 120-hour job readiness workshop that focused on soft skills, self-esteem building, conflict management, and basic employability skills.

Paid Temporary Employment:Participants who completed the job readiness workshop were placed in four- to six-week paid on-the-job training (OJT) positions with one of Pyramids employer partners. Under the Round 1 grant, all participants were placed with Hyatt Hotels, with Pyramid paying 100 percent of the participants wages ($7.50 per hour) for the first two weeks and 50 percent of the wages for the final four weeks. Under the Round 2 grant, other employers were included, with Pyramid paying 100 percent of the participants wages ($6.50 to $8.25 per hour, depending on the employer) for the duration of the OJT.

Job Development and Placement:Participants who successfully completed their OJT were hired by their OJT employer.

Postplacement Followup: Pyramid staff tracked participants in their jobs for six months. In addition to providing postplacement assistance, Pyramid case managers encouraged former participants to take advantage of basic skills and other training available at Pyramid.

Support Services: Pyramid provided participants with transportation (bus passes) for up to six months and funds to cover other employment-related expenses, including initial union dues.


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