Community Jobs (CJ) is a WorkFirst (WF) activity providing participants with paid, temporary subsidized employment in Washington State. CJ gives participants the opportunity to gain experience in an employment setting while increasing their income, skills and self-confidence. CJ also provides participants with opportunities to build references, develop networking connections, and demonstrate their work skills directly through employment by performing jobs within their chosen field. The worksite opportunities are nonprofit, tribal, and government agencies.
Since 1997 the Community Jobs Program (CJ) has targeted to serve TANF participants who have been unsuccessful in finding or retaining employment, who have multiple barriers to employment, who are motivated to address their barriers to employment, and who want to develop the necessary personal and employment skills to obtain and retain employment. Intensive case management is provided by the Contracted Service Provider to ensure participants move towards barrier reduction, learn to manage issues that arise while maintaining employment, and develop ongoing connections to resources within the community.
Participants may remain in CJ for up to six months at 20 hours per week at a nonprofit organization or public agency worksite and are paid Washington State minimum wage. Participants also participate in 10 hours of stacked activities arranged by the Contractor and an additional 10 hours per week working with Contractor staff on barrier removal activities. Stacked activities include the following options provided by the Contractor or in partnership with other leveraged community resources:
- Education Activities - Provided by local community/technical colleges. Options include basic skills, English as a Second Language (ESL), GED, and short-term certification classes.
- Job Skills Training- that provides specific, industry recognized certification or licensing Life/Soft Skills Activities –
- Job Club Meetings/Mentoring - Job Readiness - Job Hunting Community Service Activities - Volunteer activities that are family centered such as their child’s school, childcare, Head Start, ECEAP, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. to further promote family involvement –
- Court ordered Community Service Contractors will arrange for, and monitor, participation of TANF participants in stacked activities to ensure federal requirements are met.