Community Works Project (CWP) empowers diverse families on TANF to obtain and maintain meaningful work that sustains their families, through an individualized approach that includes coaching, skills building, employment barriers removal and employer connections. We welcome new families to our program year-round and value the experience and aspirations of everyone. When you join CWP as a new member, you are joining our caring community.
CWP only serves TANF families referred by their DHS Family Coach.
List of Services Offered during COVID-19 shutdown
We offer a variety of ways for participants to engage, while staying safe at home.
Individualized Support to Complete Steps in the Employment and Vocational Training Track
CWP Employment & Engagement Specialists meet one-on-one 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 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 step: Program Steps
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 your Employment & Engagement Specialist about options.
Click here to see what we offer specifically for your step: Program Steps
Life and Work-Focused Classes and Workshops
CWP’s professional instructors support members on their personal growth journey through classes in life skills, career mapping, 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-one-one coaching over the phone and email, during this public health crisis. Ask your Employment & Engagement Specialist to be connected with our team of instructors.
CWP also offers free online access to curriculum specifically designed to prepare participants 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.
Overcoming Background Barriers
CWP supports members who have background barriers such as criminal convictions to prepare for employment. This includes individual sessions to review criminal history and draft a disclosure letter, and referrals to service providers who may help with expungements and other barrier removal services. Talk to your Employment & Engagement Specialist about background barriers you may have.
We also work with members to remove barriers to employment by connecting them to our consortium services and other community resources.
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 member’s 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 Program
CWP runs a program that uses 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 CWP 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.
What to expect when you are referred to CWP for services
Welcome to the Community Works Project (CWP)! We're happy you are joining us as a new or returning member.
Our team at CWP bring diverse experience and cultural competency from four nonprofit agencies in Portland. Our friendly and experienced Employment and Engagement Specialists and the broader CWP team look forward to meeting you. We welcome everyone at CWP. Our purpose is to help you choose a path that works best for you, to reach your own goals!
You and your Family Coach at the Department of Human Services (DHS) have decided to refer you to CWP and here is what you can expect on your first visit.
1) Your DHS Family Coach has let us know to welcome you on the date you agreed to start with CWP. Please expect a phone call or text message from your new CWP Employment & Engagement Specialist on that day, to schedule an intake appointment over the phone. Please watch our short orientation video for an overview of our CWP services.
2) During your intake appointment, your Employment & Engagement Specialist will ask you questions over the phone to get your registered in the program and to get to know you. Alternatively, they may ask you to complete our online registration form prior to your appointment. During your intake appointment, you and the Engagement and Employment Specialist will discuss what your plans are, what you feel is the biggest challenge for you to find a job or explore opportunities available.
Through CWP, you also have access to vocational training opportunities, removing background barriers and disclosure letter writing help and a vast range of job readiness activities with a focus on designing a plan and schedule that fits in with your life!
3) You can decide the best schedule for your weekly activities, and you and your Employment and Engagement Specialist will stay connected and check in once a week to explore progress.
4) At the end of the intake, you will plan for next steps on an individual plan that works best for you. You will discuss online and phone options for completing your plan from home, including the various online workshops that CWP offers. After your intake, you will receive a document by email to sign electronically, to allow us to contact your future employer. Please also take a couple minutes to let us know how we did, by responding to our anonymous survey.
We look forward to working with you! These are extraordinary times that can be stressful.
We are committed to working with you to make your time with CWP manageable and productive. Right now is a great time to build up skills, explore new career opportunities, and plan for your future!