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 toward 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 with 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, Career Scope coaches, will at a minimum:

  1. Assess participants’ job readiness. If participants are not job ready, refer them back (RB) to DSHS while in the RI component after attempting to contact their case manager as outline in the Refer Back Guide. When entering the RB code, select the appropriate reason for referring them back and enter a note in eJAS detailing the reason for referring them back.
  2. If the participant meets the Work Ready Criteria:
    1. Complete  a  Plan of Activity.  
    2. Enter/record services into SKIES as appropriate.
    3. Sign them into the Customer Automated Tracking System (CATS) and set the days they will sign in or be signed into CATS if they are not required to attend every day.
    4.  Enter participants into an Employment Track in CATS. 

Within 5 business days of participants entering Career Scope, employment coaches will:

Within 21 calendar days of participants entering Career Scope, employment coaches will:

4.2.3 What is a Career Scope Services Determination?

A career services determination allows Career Scope coaches to determine the appropriate level and type of services for participants in order to find the best job for which they are qualified. The services provided and activities planned will correspond to the hours of participation required in the IRP.

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

Career Scope coaches will:

When an evaluation points to a pathway other than career scope, 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 participants the most and help them  move toward employment. The process must include:

Career Scope coaches:

DSHS staff will coordinate with participants and other providers to identify next steps for participation, update components, make necessary referrals and update IRPs.

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  Employment Skills Assessment/SKIES Registration?

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 of the Employment Skills Assessment and SKIES Registration and one or more assessment tools, if used, 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.  Staff should encourage participants to use one or more of the assessment tools  listed in the ESD WorkFirst –Work Skill Assessment Tool Matrix.


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 Employment Skills Assessment. This information will aid in completing or updating their Short and Long Term Employment Goals, assists in job matching to make appropriate job referrals and/or referring to other services. Local labor market information can help coaches and participants:

4.2.6 What is  a Plan of Activities?

The  Plan of Activities 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.   Career Scope coaches prepare a Plan of Activities along with participants, as appropriate, and then give a copy to participants.

Career Scope coaches will use the  Plan of Activities 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 in eJAS notes. During a one-on-one meeting with participants, Career Scope coaches 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 participants within their 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. 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 the Employment Pathway Track C  begins immediately upon acceptance into Job Search. Participants may remain in Track C or be place in a different track after completion of the Asset Development Phase. Career Scope coaches will enter participants into the appropriate employment pathway (track) based on the following guidelines:

Employment Pathway Track A



Employment Pathway Track B



Employment Pathway Track C



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, Career Scope coaches will:

Career Scope Participant Evaluations

Participants will receive an evaluation from Career Scope coaches to assess their progress and determine what subsequent activities would best help them achieve self sufficiency. These evaluations will be recorded  in eJAS notes  and take place no less than:

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

During the tenth week (10th 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, Career Scope coaches document the recommendation in eJAS on the participant notes.   , and close the JS at 12 weeks. 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".  

Career Scope coaches who deem participants appropriate for OJT or 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 participants maintain full-time participation. Career Scope coaches will contact their WFPS as part of the continuous activity planning process to ensure full-time participation is maintained and that 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?

Participants will be referred back at any time it is determined that Career Scope services are not the appropriate activity.

Refer Back (RB) from the initial referral:

If participants report for Career Scope services and it is determined they do not meet the Work Ready Criteria, they will be referred back (RB) from the RI component. Two attempts to contact the case manager will be made, 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 participants back: The RB reason codes are:

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

Career Scope coaches will contact the participant’s WFPS to conduct a joint evaluation and  include the participant (when possible) to determine next steps. Career Scope coaches 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 coaches 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 based on when participants start and end their Career Scope activities each day. Starting and ending Career Scope activities each day is defined as:

Career Scope starts each day when participants begin 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 employers do not consider participants permanent full-time or part-time employees.

Coordinate with WFPS in cases where the temporary employment lasts more than 4 consecutive days or is reoccurring each week to decide whether participants are 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 participants upon entering work search on what constitutes Temporary Employment, therefore being excused from assigned work search tasks. Advise participants 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 for employer information when they call to be excused for temporary employment. 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 attestation about employment does not constitute verified employment.

  4. Excuse participants in CATS for Temporary Employment as "Temporary Employment Unverified" when they call 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 participant does 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 participants know 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 participants 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 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 requires:

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 participants disclose that they are working on resolving or coping with family violence and also participating in Career Scope activities, Career Scope coaches will:

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

For participants who are employed and still in WorkFirst, Career Scope coaches will provide services to help them 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 skills assessment, complete the Evaluation section of the Comprehensive Evaluation, review the Individual Responsibility Plan and determine the level of services needed within the WorkSource Center. Participants should be able to come into the office at least once a week in order to meet with Career Scope coaches.

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 Career Scope coaches through 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


When adding ESD Career Scope activities to participants’ IRP, use the RI referral code with the number of hours they 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 9th. 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.


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 full-time 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 participants to contact ESD. This date will pre-fill onto the IRP template. When participants sign or are signed into CATS, the hours on the RI component will automatically convert to the hours they are 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 childcare and transportation plans in place prior to reporting for Career Scope activities.


    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. Career Scope coaches:
    1. Assess participants reporting to Career Scope to ensure they meet the Work Ready Criteria. For participants who do not meet the Work Ready Criteria, attempt to contact the case manager. If attempts to contact the DSHS case manager over two days is not successful, RB the participant using the RB from the RI component selecting the appropriate reason code, and making the appropriate notes regarding the reason for refer back.
    2. Complete and/or update the Employment Skills Assessment and the registration in SKIES for all participants determined work ready within  5 business days of starting work search. Record an assessment service in SKIES.
    3. Use the Work Skills Assessment and SKIES registration information and any other factors that may need to be monitored during work search enter the results in  the Employment Skills Assessment Summary as part of the CE in eJAS. The completion date of the Assessment and Assets as recorded on the Asset Inventory Screen will populate onto the ESD Section of the CE when checked as completed.  The ESD section of the CE will be updated as necessary to provide a current understanding of the participant’s progress while in job search. Anytime the Asset Inventory in CATS is updated the Employment Plan Summary is eJAS is automatically updated as well. 
    4. Orient participants to services and participation requirements and ensure the Employment Assets are completed within 21 calendar days.
    5. Complete a Plan of Activities   with enrolled participants and assign them activities to complete during the upcoming week(s) and/or day(s) in either Job Preparation or Job Search.   Provide participants a copy of their  Plan of Activities. Document progress or areas of participation needing improvement in the  participants’ eJAS notes during the assigned one-on-one coaching appointment. In participants’  tenth week, make a recommendation for continued Career Scope services or another appropriate activity if not Career Scope. 
    6. As appropriate, instruct participants on how to record completion of their assigned activities and hours of participation on their Plan of Activities.
    7. Provide participants a Plan of Activities and require them to document activities/work search efforts on their  Plan as appropriate.
    8. Schedule participants to attend a job club at least once every week (if offered) when completed with their Employment Assets.  
    9. Conduct random verification of employment related activities and job contacts.
    10. Monitor and document participants’ participation for each week during their required one-on-one evaluation. Results are documented in  participants’ eJAS notes.
    11. Contact participant after each unexcused absence and record comments or attempts to contact in eJAS notes.
    12. Speak to participants after each excused absence to find out if a pattern of behavior is emerging or if additional services are needed so they can fully participate. After the 2nd excused absence, complete an interview with participants and use the Unexcused/Excused list in CATS to enter a note in eJAS regarding their excused absences.
    13. Notify the case manager after the 2nd excused or unexcused absence in a calendar month.
    14. Contact 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 participants are not participating as required. If after the CAP, it is determined that Career Scope is not the appropriate activity, refer participants back to DSHS by closing the JS component and entering an RB component for up to 4 business days. Enter a CAP note.
    15. 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.
    16. Reviews each participant's completed  Plan of Activities and record actual hours of participation no less then weekly in CATS. Document progress or areas of participation needing improvement in the  eJAS notes.
    17. 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.
    18. Documents services in SKIES, and documents relevant participation information in eJAS and CATS.
    19. Conduct evaluations to determine the next step for participants. Document evaluations in the participant’s eJAS notes. 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 participant's eJAS notes and RB the participant back to DSHS. Select the appropriate reason code for the RB and complete the CAP note.
    20. If at any time during Career Scope it is determined that participants would benefit from being enrolled in an On-The-Job training opportunity or an ESD Work Experience position, Career Scope coaches 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.
    21. Complete the Employment and Component screens in eJAS as appropriate when it is learned that participants entered employment.
    22. Remind participants about the benefits and services of the voluntary Workers and Careers Program
    23. Sign participant into CATS when referred for Post-Employment Services if they are still on TANF. Complete an employment services determination to determine the level or type of services to provide to best meet the needs of participants.
    24. Maintain the participant’s Plan of Activities and record  actual hours of participation, including verification, as required.


Related WorkFirst Handbook Chapters
Other Resources