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Workfirst Program: Job Connection/Career Jump

Contact: Anna Minor
Department of Commerce
P.O. Box 42525
Olympia, Washington 98504-2525
Telephone: (360) 725-4148
E-mail: anna.minor@commerce.wa.gov

Website: www.commerce.wa.gov/workfirst

Participation: 876 participants were served between July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015. 

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

Program Description: The Job Connection program provides participants an opportunity to build references, develop networking connections, and demonstrate their work skills by performing jobs within their chosen field of employment.

In Job Connection, Commerce’s local contractor-partners place participants in paid positions for up to three months with local nonprofit, tribal, or government agencies. Employment is then paired with targeted job hunting activities and mentoring opportunities. The goal is to secure unsubsidized employment. In Career Jump, a subset of the Job Connection program, participants gain paid work experience while “on the job” with either a nonprofit or for-profit employer who has agreed to place them on their payroll at the end of the training period.

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.

Outcome Measures: Participant engagement, job enrollment, success in meeting individual development plan goals, and unsubsidized job placement.

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

State Expenditures: $88,000

Federal Expenditures: $4,249,000 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015).

Statutory Authority: The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

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