Established in 2012, Community Works Project (CWP) partners with ODHS Family Coaches to empower diverse TANF-reliant families. Our mission is to help them secure meaningful employment by offering personalized coaching, skill building, barriers removal services, and employer connections. Through our targeted approach, we pave the way for families to achieve financial stability and thrive in the workforce.
Watch our Orientation Video for examples of how we support our members.
Referral Links and Process
CWP exclusively collaborates with TANF families referred by their Family Coaches. Our involvement begins once a Family Coach establishes a Personal Development Plan and selects a contracted step from the following categories:
Employment & Education Steps: AB, ES, HS, JO, JS, PL, SI, SW, VT, WE, CSCD.
Wellness Steps: CH, DA, LS, ME, MH, RA, SL.
Once you submit your referral form, CWP will assign a Resource Navigation Specialist to reach out to the new member and conduct an intake.
As of 8/23/2023 We are no longer accepting ME/MH/DA and RA referrals without signed ROI DHS-CWP (make sure to have initials). We apologize for any inconvenience.
For new members being referred to Wellness services (DA, ME, RA, or MH) CWP will reach out to the new member to schedule an intake with our Medical Case Consultant or/and Behavioral Health Consultant.
To download the ROI please select the name of the branch below :
CWP services are now available to all District 2 branches as of July 1st, 2022.
Services Offered Post COVID-19 shutdown (in list form)
At CWP, we prioritize the safety of our members by offering diverse engagement opportunities within the comfort of their homes. Our services are exclusively tailored for TANF families referred by ODHS Family Coaches. Operating through our three agencies, we deliver culturally sensitive support to a wide array of communities, connecting our families with relevant local resources.
We refer to our TANF beneficiaries as members, employing a member-centered approach to deliver our services. Our goal is to provide comprehensive support, addressing the unique needs of each family, fostering their journey towards self-sufficiency.
Pre-COVID-19, our physical presence was established at the ODHS East County Family Service Center, Gresham office, and the ODHS Southeast Portland Self-Sufficiency Office. Additionally, we closely collaborate with the ODHS Schools Team in Multnomah County.
Your feedback is invaluable to us as we continuously strive for excellence. We welcome your input in person or via email, ensuring our services meet the highest standards of quality and effectiveness. Please visit our Contact page.
Individualized Support to Complete Steps in the Employment
CWP's Resource Navigation Specialists provide personalized one-on-one support to our members through phone, video calls, or emails. Together, we establish goals and objectives collaboratively, offering hands-on assistance and coaching to help members achieve their goals. Our program includes diverse virtual classes led by professionals, tailored growth opportunities in our Career Centers, and weekly individualized support, such as mock interviews, based on the specific "step" agreed upon with DHS Family Coaches.
Furthermore, we assist members in overcoming employment barriers by connecting them to our consortium services and other community resources. Our engagement doesn't stop after placement; we continue to support members who have secured jobs for up to 90 days, ensuring sustained success in their employment journey.
Our Career Centers are currently open by appointment only. We still offer many services remotely, please talk to CWP's Resource Navigation Specialists about options.
Life and Work-Focused Classes and Workshops
CWP’s expert instructors guide members through essential life skills, resume writing, interviewing techniques, and English as a Second Language (ESL) learning. We provide complimentary access to a curriculum that helps bridge the gap between foundational education and the job market or GED levels. Our online classes and personalized coaching via phone and email enhance learning experiences. Resource Navigation Specialists at CWP facilitate connections between participants and instructors.
Additionally, CWP offers free online resources 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 provides dedicated assistance to members facing medical or behavioral health challenges that hinder their participation in employment or vocational training. Our support begins with a comprehensive assessment, followed by the development of a personalized care plan in collaboration with healthcare providers. We guide and support members throughout the process of completing their care plans, helping in scheduling and attending healthcare appointments. If requested, we act as advocates, facilitating communication with healthcare providers.
Our involvement is contingent upon members signing a release of information, allowing us access to their health records and enabling communication with their healthcare providers. Additionally, we address various barriers to employment by connecting members to our consortium services and other community resources, ensuring comprehensive support tailored to their individual needs.
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 Resource Navigation 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
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.
For members who are ready to review their Employment Portfolio and search for jobs, the CWP Resource Navigation 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.
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!
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.
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.
Job Skills Training (JS)
This job skills training step involves unpaid training provided by an employer to equip individuals with the necessary skills for hiring, retaining, or advancing in a job. Activities may include classroom sessions, homework, meeting certification requirements, participating in trainings offered by local employers, technical courses offered by community colleges and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs in partnership with employers, as well as pre-apprenticeship programs.
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.
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.
Rehabilitation Services (RA)
Rehabilitation Services, aims to break down obstacles caused by ongoing disabilities. It's essential for job readiness and needs confirmation from a health professional. This program includes various activities like specific therapies (physical, speech, occupational), exercises prescribed by a provider, involvement in support groups, managing pain through medical services, handling medications related to medical needs, and even collaborating with a contractor for continued support with the treatment plan.
Stabilize Living (SL)
Stabilize Living is a program aimed at tackling housing issues that might be holding people back from finding work or being self-sufficient. It involves practical steps like looking for a secure place to live, teaming up with housing agencies, and even collaborating with landlords to prevent eviction. Plus, it might offer courses such as Rent Well, helping folks learn more about handling rentals smartly.
The CH step provides comprehensive support to participants with child-related barriers to gainful employment and success. Participation in the step includes various aspects of child wellbeing, parenting, and work-family balance. Securing suitable childcare services and attending school conferences (for IEPs, 504 plans, or other special education/behavioral challenges) to enhance children's wellbeing are emphasized in the contractor's role with the participant. Support groups for children, parents, and families are available in the community and the contractor can help in finding them. Activities within this step also include locating counseling, organizing regular doctor appointments for children, locating and tracking parenting education classes, providing mentorship by contractor, and sourcing low-cost sports or other extracurriculars for children.
The AB step provides targeted support for adults aged 20 and above without a high school diploma or GED. It focuses on enhancing basic literacy and math skills relevant to specific employment opportunities, emphasizing skills essential for the job market. Participants engage in various activities, including class and homework time, tailored to specific occupations. The curriculum covers fundamental literacy skills like reading, writing, spelling, and speaking, as well as essential math concepts such as arithmetic and percentages. Participants can complete alternate certification to showcase their workplace readiness. This approach equips participants with vital skills for professional growth and employment success.
HS (High School Diploma) or GED (equivalent) activities are non-core countable for participants actively pursuing their diploma or GED. These activities include class time, homework sessions, and time spent on GED pre-tests or tests. Participants receive comprehensive support to help them successfully achieve their educational goals, enhancing their future prospects and career opportunities.
Self-Initiated Training, involves supporting members enrolling in a college program (lasting two or four years) to earn credits toward an undergraduate degree. It includes attending classes, dedicating time for supervised and unsupervised studying, and completing activities necessary to meet the requirements for the degree. It's essentially about pursuing a college education with all the activities involved in studying and meeting degree obligations.
Vocational Training offers participants access to specialized vocational education for a maximum of 18 months. The aim is to attain a certificate, job offer, or career opportunity. This involves attending classes, dedicating time to homework and supervised/unsupervised studying, and completing necessary activities to meet certification requirements. In essence, it's a program designed to provide targeted job skills and qualifications for specific careers or jobs.
CWP employs a culturally tailored, community-based, and collaborative approach to support African American/Black-identifying members in establishing a strong foundation for practical work and personal development, guiding them towards sustainable employment and self-sufficiency. Our distinctive program assembles cohorts of members for year-long engagements, featuring weekly life skills classes, workshops, coaching sessions, and career exploration activities. We actively assist members in overcoming employment barriers by connecting them to our consortium services and various community resources, ensuring a holistic and empowering approach to their journey towards self-reliance.