The Department of Employment Services' welfaretowork program, Project Empowerment, has been in operation since April 2001. Stressing the "workfirst" philosophy, the multicomponent program begins with orientation and preemployment assessment at which time barriers to employment are diagnosed, and an individually tailored employability plan is devised for each participant.
After completing this phase of the program, participants enter a jobreadiness component which is followed by subsidized employment, adult basic education, occupational skills training, supportive services intervention, job club and placement in unsubsidized employment. Even after placement, job retention services and personalized followup services continue for at least one year. All of these components are tied together through a continuous regimen of case management and job coaching, which provides support for the participant and employer.
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