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What Is The Welfare To Work Program?

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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