WorkFirst HandBook

Career Scope Services

4.2 Job Preparation/Work Search

Legal References:

The Employment services - Job Preparation/Work Search section includes:

4.2.1 What is "Job Preparation"(Phase I – Orientation/Assessment and Phase II Asset Development)?

Job preparation, the initial part of Career Scope services (Phases I and II), is intended to immediately engage participants in activities designed to help them build the skills to progress towards employment. It can last up to three weeks, and allows participants the opportunity to assess their skills and acquire the basic skills necessary to more readily make the right job match into a quality job. Job preparation provides opportunities to learn the life skills needed to deal with everyday issues that may interfere with employment. It may also include activities related to achieving an employment goal (such as attending training).

4.2.2 What activities and resources are available during job preparation?
  1. Activities and resources that are available or completed during job preparation Phase I are:
  2. Activities and resources that are available or completed during job preparation Phase II Asset Development:

On the first day of work search a Career Scopecoach, will at a minimum:

  1. Assess the job readiness of the participant. If the participant is not job ready, refer them back (RB) while in the RI component to DSHS. When entering the RB code, select the appropriate reason for referring the participant back and enter a note in eJAS detailing the reason for referring the participant back.
  2. If the participant meets the Work Ready Criteria:
    1. Complete an Activity Planner and record in SKIES the service - WorkFirst Activity Planner.
    2. Enter/record services into SKIES as appropriate.
    3. Sign the participant into the Customer Automated Tracking System (CATS) and set the days the participant will sign in or be signed into CATS if the participant will not be attending every day.

Within 5 business days of a participant entering Career Scope the Career Scope coach will:

Within 15 business days of a participant entering Career Scope an employment coach will:

4.2.3 What is a Career Scope Services Determination?

A career services determination allows a Career Scope coach to determine the appropriate level and type of services each participant requires in order to find the best job he or she qualifies for. The services provided and activities planned will correspond to the hours of participation required on the IRP.

Career Scope coaches will review and take into consideration the following:

The Career Scope coach will:

When an evaluation points to a pathway other than career scope, local Career Scope coaches must have a process for "Continuous Activity Planning" (a joint evaluation) that ensures ESD, along with participants (when possible), other service providers and DSHS work together to determine the services that will benefit the participant the most and help him or her move toward employment. The process must include:

Career Scope coach:

DSHS staff will coordinate with the participant and other providers to identify next steps for participation, update components, make necessary referrals and update the IRP

Optional pathways for consideration during "Continuous Activity Planning" may include, but are not limited to:

4.2.4. What is a Work Skill Assessment (WSA) as part of the Initial Assessment in SKIES?

The Work Skill Assessment examines work history, education, job skills, and employment strength and other elements as determined from the interpretation of the results of one or more assessment tools and in person meetings with the participant. The results of the assessment(s) are used to help define career options and opportunities with local employers. Work Skill Assessments will be conducted using approved assessment tool(s).  Approved tools are listed in the ESD WorkFirst –Work Skill Assessment Tool Matrix.

A Career Scope coach will use the results of the WSA to complete and/or update the Initial Assessment in SKIES for each participant referred to work search within 15 business days.

The Initial Assessment in SKIES will be completed during a one-on-one meeting between each participant and a Career Scope coach.

When the Initial Assessment in SKIES is completed, the Career Scope coach will complete the “Employment Plan Summary” in the ESD Section of the CE in eJAS. Staff will document in the "Employment Plan Summary " section the type of work the participant is seeking, how the labor market supports this decision and factors that may need to be monitored to ensure the participant's success in work search.

4.2.5 What is Labor Market Research?

Participants will be provided instruction and access to local labor market information during the completion of their Initial Assessment in SKIES. This information will aid in completing or updating the participant's Initial Assessment/Work Skills Assessment, job matching to make appropriate job referrals and/or referring to other services. Local labor market information can aid staff and participants to:

4.2.6 What is an Activity Planner?

The Activity Planner is a tool that lists the participant’s required daily activities and their agreed to activities based on the career services determination results and their IRP requirements. It is also used to notify DSHS staff of the activities a participant is engaged in or to make recommendations for other activities. The Career Scope coach completes the Job Preparation/Job Search Progress Review section of each Job Preparation/Job Search Activity Planner documenting the participant's strengths, areas needing improvement and recommendations for other activities if Career Scope services are determined not appropriate. With the participant, the ESD employment coach prepares a new Job Preparation/Job Search Activity Planner as appropriate, and gives a copy to the participant.
The Career Scope coach will use the Job Preparation/Job Search Activity Planner to document each participant's required and agreed to daily activities and a progress report of completed activities or recommendations for other activities if work search is no longer considered appropriate. During a one-on-one meeting with the participant, the Career Scope coach will:

4.2.7 What is Life Skills Training as part of Career Scope Services?

Life skills training as part of Career Scope prepares participants to meet the demands of everyday life and employment. Programs are locally designed and operated to maximize available resources to best serve the participants within the community.

Life skills training:

For independent Life Skills training, please refer to section 7.3.6 What is Independent Life Skills Training?

For Life Skills training as part of other Job Preparation activities, please refer to section 7.3.7.

4.2.8 What are Employment Assets?

Activities to assist participants in achieving the employment competencies include any or all of the services available in the WorkSource Center that address the participant's specific needs and for which he or she is eligible. Career Scope coaches should:

4.2.9 What are Career Scope Employment Pathways (Work Search)?

Career Scope has three employment pathways to allow for a more individualized approach to work search. We want to provide the support and resources for participants to complete a successful work search. Engagement with participants during the Orientation and Assessment and the Asset Development phases provides coaches the information needed to determine the appropriate employment pathway (Track A, B, or C).

Entrance into an employment pathway follows the completion of the Asset Development Phase and occurs when the Career Scope coach determines the participant is ready to make employer contacts to obtain the best job possible. The Career Scope coach will then enter the participant in the appropriate employment pathway (track) based on the following guidelines:

Employment Pathway Track A

These participants will:

Coaches will:

Employment Pathway Track B

These participants will:

Coaches will:

Employment Pathway Track C

These participants will:

Coaches will:

Career Scope services activities, including Job Preparation, can last up to 12 weeks. Career Scope coaches will be available to provide daily supervision for all participants while in Career Scope based on their career scope services and employment pathway determination. In addition to daily supervision, the Career Scope coach will:

Career Scope Participant Evaluations

Each participant will receive an evaluation from a Career Scope coach to determine the participant’s progress and what next activities would best assist him or her achieve self sufficiency. This evaluation will be recorded on the Review section of the participant’s Activity Planner and take place no less than:

At the beginning of each participant's twelfth week in Career Scope the following will take place:

During the last week (12th week) of Career Scope services, the ESD coach, the WFPS, and the participant (when possible) as part of the continuous activity planning process, conduct an evaluation to determine the next steps. If the joint evaluation indicates additional work search is the next step, the Career Scope coach documents the recommendation in CATS on the participant’s Review section of the Activity Planner, and closes the JS. The WFPS opens a new RI component code to refer the participant back to Career Scope services (work search). If services other than JS are recommend then the JS will be closed, an RB opened for 4 days, the appropriate reason for the RB selected, and a continuous activity note indicating the recommended next activity in accordance with the "Decision making Criteria".  Completing the Activity Planner Review section and saving the entry closes the planner.

Career Scope coaches who deem participants appropriate for OJT or a WEX will, once the contract is signed, close the Job Search component and enter the appropriate component code (OT or WE). The JS component will not be closed and the WEX will not begin until stacked activities are in place to have the participant maintain fulltime participation. The Career Scope coach will contact the WFPS as part of the continuous activity planning process to ensure fulltime participation is maintained and the IRP is updated. For detailed information, see the OJT or WEX section of this chapter.

4.2.10 What are the requirements for full or part time Work Search?

Participants referred for Career Scope services need to have:

Participants being referred to Career Scope need to be –

Preferred, but not required – Have a high school diploma or GED or be enrolled in a GED program and making satisfactory progress. 

For information on when it is appropriate to refer Community Jobs participants to work search, please refer to section 8.3.12 - Stacking CJ with part time Job Search (JS)?

4.2.11 What is the process for early referral back from Career Scope Services?

A participant will be referred back at anytime it is determined that Career Scope services are not the appropriate activity.

Refer Back (RB) from the initial referral:

If a participant reports for Career Scope services and it is determined they do not meet the Work Ready Criteria, the participant will be referred back (RB) from the RI component. The case manger will be contacted, if possible, to alert them of the RB. The RI will be closed, an RB entered, and a CAP note entered as part of the RB process: Staff will select the appropriate reason code for the RB when referring the participant back: The RB reason codes are:

Refer Back from Career Scope Services, Work Experience or On-the Job Training:

The Career Scope coach will contact the WFPS to conduct a joint evaluation, to include the participant (when possible) to determine the next steps. The Career Scope coach will close the JS, WE or OT; enter an "RB" in eJAS with an end date of no more than 4 days from the date entered: select the appropriate reason code for the RB, and document in eJAS CAP notes why the participant is being referred back. Career Scope coach will enter in eJAS Notes a recommendation, as part of the "Continuous Activity Planning", for the next activity or activities, ensuring they meet the requirements of the "Decision Making Criteria ". Reasons Career Scope services may not be an appropriate activity could include:

Refer to Chapter 4.1 section 4.1.5 - What are participation requirements? - regarding referring participants back for excused or unexcused absences.

4.2.12 How are actual hours of participation figured?

Actual hours of participation are figured on when the participant starts and ends their Career Scope activities each day. Starting and ending Career Scope activities each day is defined as:

Career Scope starts each day when the participant begins their first work search activity, for example:

Career Scope ends each day when the participant ends their last work search activity, for example:

4.2.13 What is Temporary Employment and how is it reported?

Temporary Employment is a paid, unsubsidized job lasting 30 days or less. Examples include temporary employment agencies (such as Manpower, Labor Ready, etc.) and casual labor (such as odd jobs for landlord, friends, and relatives) or other employers offering temporary employment.

Temporary Employment can be part-time employment (31 hours per week or less), or full-time employment (32 hours per week or more). In either case, there is an estimated employment end date of 30 days or less and the employer does not consider the participant a permanent full-time or part-time employee.

Coordinate with the DSHS WFPS in cases where the temporary employment lasts more than 4 consecutive days or is reoccurring each week to decide whether the participant is in the appropriate component.

Temporary employment hours for federal participation are computed from the verified employment hours entered into the ACES system.

Verification of Temporary Employment Hours:

Career Scope coaches will:

  1. Brief each participant upon entering work search on what constitutes Temporary Employment therefore being excused from assigned work search tasks. Advise the participant that if temporary employment cannot be verified within 3 business days of ending the Temporary Employment, the day(s) will be considered a "no show" and they may not be excused for temporary employment in the future.
  2. Ask participants who call to be excused for temporary employment for employer information. Participants can bring in a Temporary Employment Verification Form, a paystub or staff can call the employer to verify employment. Information required for employment verification must include:
  3. NOTE: Participant self-statements about employment do not constitute verified employment.

  4. Excuse the participant in CATS for Temporary Employment as "Temporary Employment Unverified" when a participant calls to be excused for this purpose. Participants not able to provide enough detail about the employment must be reminded to provide the employment information during their next scheduled day of work search.
  5. After verifying employment, with paystubs, Temporary Employment Verification Form or by calling the employer and completing the Temporary Employment Verification Form, change the "Temporary Employment Unverified" in CATS to "Excused - Temporary Employment Verified." "Hours for Verified Employment" are not entered in CATS in Actual Hours as excused or participating hours. The hours can be entered in CATS for internal use only. DSHS will enter the employment hours into their ACES system using the historical entry of employment hour process. These hours will later be included in the participation hours reported for federal participation for the participant.
  6. If unable to verify employment, and the participant did not call in to report the absence timely, leave the "Temporary Employment Unverified" as recorded and treat this time as a "no show". Enter a note in eJAS indicating what actions were taken to verify employment and that the participant was advised they were considered a "no show" on that day. Ensure the participant knows that if Temporary Employment cannot be verified they will be considered a "no show" and they may not be excused for temporary employment in the future.

When recording and reporting Temporary Employment hours for federal participation, Career Scope coaches will:

  1. Use and maintain the Temporary Employment Tracking Log for each participant engaged in temporary employment during a calendar month. Information recorded on the Temporary Employment Tracking Log includes:
  2. NOTE: Do not enter the Temporary Employment information on the Temporary Employment Tracking Log until the employment hours information has been verified.

    Please make sure that the number of hours listed in the "Total Number of Hours Worked" column matches the "Employment Date(s)" column. EXAMPLE: ESD verified that the participant worked from 5/10-5/14 for 5 hours per day. The "Employment Date(s)" box for this job is marked as 5/10-5/14. Therefore the "Total Number of Hours Worked" for that row should be recorded as 25 hours (5 hours/day x 5 days worked).

  3. Ensure that the original Temporary Employment Tracking Logs are sent to the regional DSHS Hub Imaging Unit (HIU) by the 10th of the month following the employment month being recorded. DSHS will image the documents into the DMS system and record the employment hours in ACES using the historical entry of employment hours process.
  4. Temporary Employment Hours Verification form and logs will be retained as follows:

    Each participant's Temporary Employment Verification Form(s) will be attached to a copy of their Temporary Employment Tracking Log. These documents will be retained locally for three (3) months past the month in which the Temporary Employment occurred and then archived by sending them to the records retention center for 6 years.

    Coordinate with the DSHS WFPS in cases where the temporary employment lasts more than 4 consecutive days or is reoccurring each week to decide whether the participant is in the appropriate component.

4.2.14 What is required to supervise (monitor), document, verify and report work search participation?

Supervising work search participation is:

Required documentation of a participant's Career Scope activities consists of at a minimum:

Required verification of participation:

Recording actual hours:

Record Keeping:

4.2.15 How are participants in a Family Violence situation assisted?

If a participant discloses he or she is working on resolving or coping with family violence and is also participating in Career Scope activities, the Career Scope coach will:

4.2.16 What are post Career Scope services?
What are post Career Scope services offered by Employment Security Department?

For a participant who is employed and still on WorkFirst, Career Scope coaches will provide services to help him or her to find full-time employment or a better job. DSHS staff should refer participants that would benefit from Career Scope services to ESD using the RI referral code. ESD staff will review the work skill assessment, completed the Evaluation section of the Comprehensive Evaluation, review the Individual Responsibility Plan and determine the level of services she or he need within the WorkSource Center. The participant should be able to come into the office at least once a week in order to meet with a Career Scope coach.

Who is eligible for Post TANF Career Scope services and what are they eligible for?

Post TANF WorkFirst recipients are eligible to voluntarily continue working with a Career Scope coach in the Workers and Careers Program.  The Workers and Careers Program is designed to help participants keep a job or get a better job.  The program offers: 

Participants also have the chance to mentor and help other Career Scope participants in activities like Work Connections (job club).

4.2.17 eJAS Codes

DSHS

When adding ESD Career Scope activities to a participant's IRP, use the RI referral code with the number of hours the participant will participate in Work Search. The end date is the either the day of the appointment with ESD or the last day of the contact period (no more than 7 days). Example: The WFPS gives the participant an appointment with ESD on Monday November 9 th . The end date is the 9th. The WFPS gives the client 7 days to contact ESD on November 2nd. The end date would be the 8th . These dates are automatically entered into the IRP.

ESD

Refer back code:

RB (referred back early, referred back for other services, no show, completed job search without obtaining employment, non-participation)

Job Search code:

JS (Career Scope services which include Job Preparation, Job Search)

Career Scope Services - On-the-Job training code:

OT (subsidized employment in which the employer provides training to the participant that leads to fulltime employment)

Career Scope Services - ESD Work Experience code:

WE (placement into an unpaid activity to obtain work skills in a workplace setting). ESD does not have a contractor code.

Career Scope Services - Skills Enhancement Training:

JT (Training or education for job skills required by an employer to provide an individual with the ability to obtain employment or to advance or adapt to the changing demands of the workplace. This can be customized training for a specific employer or general training to prepare for employment)

4.2.18 Career Scope Services - Step-by-step guide
  1. The DSHS worker:
    1. Opens RI (Prepare for job preparation/job search) component for 33 hours for fulltime participation or  38 hour full-time job search when one parent is doing all the participation for both parents in a two-parent family and for no less than 10 hours for part time participation. The end date on the component is either the day of the appointment or the end of the timeframe for the participant to contact ESD. This date will pre-fill onto the IRP template. When the participant signs or is signed into CATS the hours on the RI component will automatically convert to the hours the participant is required to participate in Career Scope services (JS) each week.
    2. Develops an IRP with the participant based on the recommendations from the comprehensive evaluation that includes up to full-time participation (35 hours) in Career Scope activities.
    3. Adds Career Scope services to the IRP, and the participant's requirement to have in place childcare or transportation, if these are necessary.
    4. Case manages the RI activities to ensure that participants set up childcare and transportation prior to reporting for Career Scope activities.

    Exceptions:

    For Limited English Proficient (LEP) refer to Chapter 5.2 LEP Pathway or for Tribal participants, the worker enters the JS code with the contractor code, if the tribe has one, and also uses the RT indicator. Do not delete the RT delete the RT when the participant starts Work Search)

  2. The Career Scope coach:
    1. Assesses each participant reporting to Career Scope to ensure they meet the Work Ready Criteria. For participants who do not meet the Work Ready Criteria, use the RB from the RI component selecting the appropriate reason code, and making the appropriate notes regarding the reason for refer back.
    2. Completes and/or updates the Initial Assessment in SKIES for all participants determined work ready within 15 business days of starting work search. The Initial Assessment is completed using the information/results obtained when conducting a Work Skill Assessment (WSA).  Records an assessment service in SKIES.
    3. Completes the KeyTrain Pre-Test skill assessments (not the Quick Guide) within 5 business days of entering work search. Record the appropriate services for KeyTrain in SKIES.  Recommend/assign eLearning (skill) Modules as appropriate.
    4. Using the Initial Assessment information in SKIES, complete the Employment Plan Summary as part of the CE in eJAS. The summary will cover the participant's job readiness, type of work being sought, employment goals, including labor market information and any other factors that may need to be monitored during work search.
    5. Orients the participant to services and participation requirements.
    6. Completes an Activity Planner with each enrolled participant, assigns him or her activities to complete during the upcoming week(s) and/or day(s) in either Job Preparation or Job Search and provides the participant a copy of their Activity Planner. Document progress or areas of participation needing improvement in the Job Preparation or Job Search Review section of the Activity Planner during the assigned one-on-one coaching appointment. In the participant’s twelfth week make a recommendation for continued Career Scope services or another appropriate activity if not Career Scope. 
    7. Closes the WorkFirst Job Preparation Activity Planner in CATS when completed and completes a WorkFirst Job Search Activity Planner in CATS as appropriate.
    8. As appropriate, instructs participants on how to record completion of their assigned activities and hours of participation on their Activity/Job Search Log or Activity Planner.
    9. Provides participants a Daily Activity/Job Search Log and require them to document activities/work search efforts on their log as appropriate.
    10. Schedules participants to attend a job club at least once every week when placed in an Employment Track (Phase III). 
    11. Conducts random verification of employment related activities and job contacts.
    12. Monitors and documents the participant's participation for each week during their required one-on-one evaluation. Results are documented in the Review section of the Activity Planner.
    13. Contacts participant after each unexcused absence and records comments or attempt to contact in eJAS Notes.
    14. Speaks to the participant after each excused absence to find out if a pattern of behavior is emerging or if additional services are needed so the participant can fully participate. After the 2nd excused absence, will complete an interview with the participant and will use the Unexcused/Excused list in CATS to enter a note in eJAS regarding the participant's excused absences.
    15. Notifies the case manager after the 2nd excused or unexcused absence in a calendar month.
    16. Contacts the case manager as part of the Continuous Activity Planning (CAP) process the day following the 2nd excused or unexcused absence in a calendar month, or anytime the participant is not participating as required. If after the CAP it is determined Career Scope is not the appropriate activity for the participant, refer the participant back to DSHS by closing the JS component and entering an RB component for up to 4 business days. Enter a CAP note.
    17. If contact with the case manager cannot be made by the second day following the second unexcused absence, and the participant continues to not show to work search, enter a CAP note detailing why the participant is being referred back, a recommendation for future activities if appropriate and the attempts to contact the case manager or a DSHS supervisor. Close the activity code and enter an RB component for no more than 4 days business days.
    18. Reviews each participant's completed Daily Activity/Job Search Log and record actual hours of participation no less then weekly in CATS. Document progress or areas of participation needing improvement in the evaluation section of the Activity Planner.
    19. Brief participants on how to claim Temporary Employment as part of their participation requirements and:
      1. Provide participants Temporary Employment Hour Verification Forms.
      2. Excuse attendance in CATS as Temporary Employment Unverified.
      3. Coordinate with the DSHS WFPS in cases where the temporary employment lasts more than 4 consecutive days or is reoccurring each week to decide whether the participant is in the appropriate component.
      4. Verify Temporary Employment within 3 business days of the ending of the Temporary Employment. This time can be extended on a case by case basis. If not verified, the excused absence should be considered the same as a no-show and the case manager should be notified as appropriate.
      5. Upon verification, change attendance in CATS to Temporary Employment Verified.
      6. Leave the Attendance as Temporary Employment Unverified when temporary employment cannot be verified and document the situation in eJAS notes.
      7. Do not record excused hours or participation hours for temporary employment. DSHS records temporary employment hours in ACES.
      8. Complete the Temporary Employment Tracking Log for each participant at the end of each calendar month based on their Employment Hours Verification form and forward to the DSHS imaging hub for the participant's CSO no later than the 10th of the following month.
      9. Archive the original of the Temporary Employment Hours Verification Form and copy of the Temporary Employment Hours Tracking log for each participant as outline in section 4.2.14 above.
    20. Documents services in SKIES, and documents relevant participation information in eJAS and CATS.
    21. Conducts evaluations to determine the next step for the participant. Document evaluations in the Review section of the Activity Planner in CATS. If it is determined that services other than Career Scope would be more appropriate then as part of the "Continuous Activity Planning" process, the Career Scope coach will coordinate with the WFPS and the participant (when possible), making a recommendation for future services in the Review section of the Activity Planner and RB the participant back to DSHS. Select the appropriate reason code for the RB and complete the CAP note.
    22. If at any time during Career Scope it is determined that the participant would benefit from being enrolled in an On-The-Job training opportunity or an ESD Work Experience position the Career Scope coach will:
      1. OJT: close the JS and enter the OT component only after all contracts are signed and in place.
      2. WEX: close the JS and enter the WE only after all stacked activities are in place. The Career Scope coach will monitor the participant's participation in employment related activities. Appropriate partners will monitor stacked activities, if not an ESD monitored activity, to ensure fulltime participation requirements are met.
    1. Completes the Employment and Component screens in eJAS as appropriate when it is learned that the participant entered employment. Documents employment in SKIES and closes the WorkFirst Job Preparation Program or the WorkFirst Job Search Program enrollment as appropriate in SKIES.  
    2. Reminds the participants about the benefits and services of the voluntary Workers and Careers Program
    3. Signs participant into CATS when referred for Post Employment Services if the participant is still on TANF. Completes an employment services determination to determine the level or type of services to provide that will best meet the needs of the participant.
    4. Maintains Daily Activity/Job Search logs and records activity verification as required.

Resources

Related WorkFirst Handbook Chapters
Other Resources