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Workfirst Program: Career Development

Contact: Molly Onkka
Department of Commerce
P.O. Box 42525
Olympia, Washington 98504-2525
Telephone: (360)725-4145
E-mail: molly.onkka@commerce.wa.gov

Website: www.commerce.wa.gov/workfirst

Participation: The Career Development Program expects to serve approximately 1,500 participants between July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014. 

Who is Served: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients.

Program Description: The Career Development program provides long-term (up to 12 months) of unpaid work experience to complement a participant’s educational pathway. Commerce’s local contractor-partners help place participants in unpaid positions that reinforce specific skills, training, knowledge, and experience necessary to obtain employment in the participant’s chosen career field. 

Program History: Since the implementation of WorkFirst in 1997, the state has provided services to help participants search for jobs and enter the labor market. Most have been successful; however, some people need additional assistance to secure permanent employment. The Career Development Program was created to provide students a means to obtain experience in their field while they are completing their education.

Outcome Measures: Participant engagement, job enrollment, education enrollment and completion, and unsubsidized job placement.

Funding and Regional Division: The Department of Commerce contracts with 21 community-based organizations located throughout Washington State to provide service delivery.

State Funding: None.

Federal Funding: $307,000 (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013).

Statutory Authority: The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

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