Established in 2012, Community Works Project (CWP) partners with ODHS Family Coaches to empower diverse families on TANF to obtain and maintain meaningful work that sustains their families, through an individualized approach that includes coaching, skill building, barriers removal services and employer connections. Watch our Orientation Video for examples of how we support our members.
Referral Links and Process
CWP only works with TANF families referred by their Family Coaches. Our work starts after a Family Coach creates a Personal Development Plan with the TANF family and opens one of the following steps for which we are contracted: AB, ES, JO, LS, PL, SW, VT, WE, DA, ME or MH.
For Employment Services Steps: AB, ES, JO, LS, PL, SW, VT, WE
Click this link to complete the CWP referral form for employment services to refer a new CWP member to our employment services. Once you submit your referral form, CWP will assign an Employment & Engagement Specialist to reach out to the new member and conduct an intake.
For Wellness Services Steps: DA, MH, ME
CWP services for DA and MH steps are only available to 3501, 1401 and 1408 branches. Once you submit your referral form, the Wellness team will reach out to the new member to schedule an intake with our Behavioral Health Consultant.
ME step (waitlisted, all District 2 branches): once you fill out a referral form, our Medical Case Consultant will review it and provide medical guidance and feedback during your branch's next MDT Meeting. We will also let you know if your case is being added to the waitlist to be staffed with us as soon as a spot opens.
Services Offered during COVID-19 shutdown (in list form)
We offer a variety of ways for members to engage, while staying safe at home. CWP only serves TANF families referred by their ODHS Family Coaches. With our six agencies, we provide culturally appropriate services to a wide range of communities, and link our families with relevant community resources.
We refer to our TANF families as members. We use a member-centered approach to provide our services. Our aim is that each TANF family we work with is supported holistically with the resources they need to achieve self-sufficiency.
When not working remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are located at the ODHS East County Family Service Center and at the ODHS Southeast Portland Self-Sufficiency Office. We also work closely with the ODHS Schools Team in Multnomah County.
We strive for excellence and welcome your feedback in person or by email. Please visit our Contact page.
Individualized Support to Complete Steps in the Employment and Vocational Training Track
CWP Employment & Engagement Specialists meet one-on-one (via phone, video call or email) with members to collaboratively set goals and objectives, and then help them meet those goals and objectives with hands-on assistance and coaching. We offer a variety of exciting and helpful virtual classes taught by professional instructors, options for individualized growth in our Career Centers, and weekly individualized support, including mock interviews, based on the “step” agreed upon with the DHS Family Coaches. Click here to see what we offer specifically for your client's step: Services Offered by Program Step.
We also work with members to remove barriers to employment by connecting them to our consortium services and other community resources. We continue to engage with members who have been placed in jobs for up to 90 days.
Our Career Centers are currently closed. We still offer many services remotely, please talk to CWP's Employment & Engagement Specialists about options.
Click here to see what we offer specifically for your step: Services Offered by Program Step.
Life and Work-Focused Classes and Workshops
CWP’s professional instructors support members on their personal growth journey through classes in life skills, resume writing and interviewing skills, and English as a Second Language learning. We also offer free access to a curriculum to help members bridge between foundational education and the job market or GED levels. We offer online classes and one-on-one coaching over the phone and email, during this public health crisis. CWP Employment & Engagement Specialists can connect participants to our instructors.
CWP also offers free online access to curriculum specifically designed to prepare members for Oregon’s National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) exam, which is recognized by a growing number of employers in Oregon and across the country, as a proof of workplace readiness. The NCRC is a portable certificate delivered based on the assessment of three foundational workplace skills, measuring what applicants can do rather than what they know: applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. The exam will be available at CWP when our Career Centers reopen. For members interested in the GED, CWP can support them in finding the right educational resources for preparing and taking the exam.
CWP supports members who have medical or behavioral health issues that prevent them from participating in the employment or vocational training track. Our support consists of an initial assessment, developing a care plan in coordination with the health providers and working with members through completing the care plan. We can accompany members to their healthcare appointments and act as their advocate, helping with communication with the healthcare providers, if desired.
We only work with CWP members who have signed a release of information that enables us to review their health files and talk to their health providers. We also work with members to remove other barriers to employment by connecting them to our consortium services and other community resources.
Culturally Specific Career Development Pilot
CWP runs a culturally specific, community-based and collaborative approach to help African American / Black-identifying members build practical work and personal foundation and coaching through to employment and self-sufficiency. This is a unique approach that brings together cohorts of members for one-year engagements in life skills classes, workshops, coaching and career exploration activities, on a weekly basis. We also work with members to remove barriers to employment by connecting them to our consortium services and other community resources.
Support with Other Barriers to Employment
CWP connects members who have barriers to employment with a large range of relevant resources to get their needs met. Services are offered by the agencies in the CWP consortium and by other community resources. CWP Engagement & Employment Specialists are able to provide basic information about the services offered and connect members to the service providers for follow up.
Services Offered by Program Step
Adult Basic Education (ABE) – Acquiring skills critical to workplace success
CWP offers free online, self-paced access to the ACT WorkKeys curriculum, which provides training on skills that are critical for workplace success, regardless of sector or location. The curriculum is comprised of three core skills (applied math, graphic literacy, workplace documents) and five essential skills (customer service, interpersonal & business communication, working in teams, workplace discipline and problem-solving/critical thinking). The curriculum also prepares members for the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (when testing resumes).
CWP now also offers the online Aztec Bridge Series curriculum, to help members bridge between foundational education and the job market, or between foundational education and high school/GED level preparation. The online curriculum is complemented by instructor workshops.
High School (HS) – Studying for High School Equivalency Diploma (GED)
CWP connects members to institutions who can help them study and prepare for the GED. While CWP does not offer these courses or testing ourselves, we help members select the best provider, complete the enrollment paperwork, and support them in reporting attendance for the JOBS program. We also help remove other barriers that may prevent you from completing your GED or entering the job market when you are done.
English as a Second Language (ES):
CWP is proud to offer uniquely individualized English as a Second Language (ESL) skill building services. We offer online skill building activities taught by an attentive ESL Instructor, no matter their skill level! We also offer the opportunity for homework help and one-on-one study support with any upcoming tests while connecting you with job leads and work readiness related ESL activities.
Job Search (JO) – Ready to work and searching for employment:
For members who are ready to review their Employment Portfolio and search for jobs, the CWP Employment & Engagement Specialists help them brush up on resume, cover letter, reference and interviewing skills they need to feel confident about their job search. This is done via phone, email and video calls. CWP develops relationships with employers in all sectors and works closely with participants to place them in positions that fit their needs and interests. We also refer members to services that help with choosing free professional work attire and grooming for their first of day work, interviews, etc. and we coordinate closely with Family Coaches when participants find a job and need professional supplies to be successful. Finally, we review and input job logs weekly.
Life Skills (LS) – Developing a personal and work foundation:
CWP offers engaging online classes and individualized work in the following areas: the art of being; tips for a well-balanced life; time management; conflict resolution; budgeting and saving for the future; finding your passion; relationships; personal growth; letting go; overcoming background barriers, and more!
Jobs Plus – Subsidized employment:
CWP develops relationships with employers who want to help members who have a higher level of job-preparation, to gain experience and learn new skills in their area of interest. DHS subsidizes the position. Employers provide mentorship and job training through a short interview and hiring process. These are positions that are only available to CWP-enrolled applicants, and we coordinate all the necessary paperwork with the employers.
Supported Work (SW) – Building skills and developing an employment portfolio:
For members who are ready to start creating an “Employment Porfolio”, CWP offers online support through classes and individualized services in the following areas: career mapping; resume assistance; computer basics; vocational training information sessions; cover letter and reference letter assistance; job interview secrets; keyboarding lab; mock interviews; vision boards; i-Match assistance; and more! We have a different topic every day and are always open to new suggestions. We start by talking to members about their past experiences, identifying their strengths and the transferrable skills they bring, as well as helping define their goals.
Vocational Training (VT) – Studying for your targeted profession:
We connect members with Vocational Training programs in line with their long-term career goals and follow up with them to ensure they are successful. CWP also supports members in identifying funding for their course of study. We have assisted members in pursuing training as Welders, Electricians, Childcare Providers, CNAs, RNs, Peer Mentors, Carpenters, Office Assistants, Receptionists, and countless other career paths that offer competitive pay that can help sustain their households over time.
Work Experience (WE) – Gaining on-the-job experience:
Members have access to long term volunteer opportunities, incentivizing employers to take a chance on our families, and allowing them to gain more experience. CWP maintains a list of possible work experience sites and can work with DHS to develop new sites when needed. CWP coordinates the necessary paperwork when members are placed in these positions, and follows up with them regularly to help them identify new growth opportunities and paid jobs.
Medical-Related Services (ME), Mental Health (MH) and Drug & Alcohol Services (DA)– Supporting your wellness:
CWP supports members who have medical or behavioral health issues that prevent them from participating in the employment or vocational training track. Our support consists of an initial assessment, developing a care plan in coordination with participants’ health providers and working with participants through completing the care plan. While we can no longer accompany participants to their healthcare appointments, we can join telehealth appointments and act as their advocate, helping with communication with the healthcare providers, if desired.
We only work with CWP members who have signed a release of information that enables us to review their health files and talk to their health providers. We also work with members to remove other barriers to employment by connecting them to our consortium services and other community resources, such as accessing free new eyeglasses with a current prescription.