Pathways Program: Job Readiness

Project Design:

Participants: 10-15 per quarter Program time frames:Oct.-Dec.; Jan-Mar; Apr-Jun and July-Sept   Each quarter will include 12-weeks of skill development, in addition to 12 weeks of follow-up for a total of 24 weeks (6 months) of program service.     Intake referrals will be received from the Suffolk Workforce Center, Step Up Inc., Western Tidewater Regional Jail (Pre-release), Probation and Parole,Western Tidewater Community Services Board, The Lee Group, local churches, other social service agencies and community organizations and self referrals.   All applicants must complete a Self Assessment form to participate in OFC Pathways program. The Self Assessment form is the designated initial screening tool to be completed by eligible adult applicants and reviewed by case manager(s) prior to development of a case plan. OFC staff and volunteers are responsible for assisting the client if they need help completing the form.   All potential participants will be screened for domestic violence, learning needs, alcohol and drugs(A&D), mental health and physical health.Screening and assessment information includes client strengths, interests, disability concerns, family circumstances,employment status and vocational aptitudes and preferences. This information is then used to mutually determine an employment goal, level of Job Readiness participation and necessary support services.  All applicants will participate in a 1-week orientation and be provided with information about services and support through other OFC programs and partnerships such as basic computer training,finance and debt management and industry specific training.   In the Pathways program and on going programs, family stability and employment readiness concerns will be continually assessed and monitored through program participation, work with partners and on going contacts with the client.

Areas to cover in Job Readiness include:

  • Setting Goals
  • Interviewing Skills and Techniques (Mock Interviews)
  • Resume Writing and How to address the gaps in employment
  • Completing a job application
  • Setting Employment Goals
  • Dress for Success


Others areas include but are not limited to:

  • Employment history and reasons for leaving;
  • History on-and-off assistance;
  • Employment goals, short- and long-term;
  • Potential retention issues;
  • Education history,grade level and level of basic skills; potential for learning disabilities;


Issues that will be addressed:

  • History and potential indicators for Mental Health, A&D, domestic violence and health issues affecting employ-ability for client and family;
  • Current resources and strengths;
  • Immediate service needs such as food, housing and health;
  • Client’s thinking on areas to reach self-sufficiency;
  • Support services needs such as child care and transportation;
  • Family and household management skills, including parenting, budgeting,nutrition;
  • Self-management skills such as hygiene and appropriate dress;
  • Help with or furnish proper dress for interviews.
  • Current legal issues.

Upon completion of Job Readiness training, identified clients will be enrolled and placed in industry specific training and or certification programs based on need.  All others will be referred to the OFC’s Job coach to assist with identifying employment and assist with job placement. Areas to be addresses:

  • Long-term job goals and plan to get there;
  • Training needs to perform current job and achieve long-term goals;
  • Client’s level of workplace culture skills vs. those sought by employers;
  • Ability to identify needs and access resources on their own
  • Need for temporary support services to maintain employment;

Follow-up(Retention assessment)   The purpose of follow-up is to evaluate client training performance,job placement and retention and how capable the client is able to obtain and retain employment and enhance wages.

Areas to cover:

  • Work issues and how the client dealt with them;
  • Level of support, challenges and ability to perform in the current work environment;
  • Opportunities for advancement; skills needed for advancement;
  • Relationships with coworkers and supervisors; (Conflict Resolution)
  • Potential for fair labor issues with employer;
  • How the client is balancing demands of work and family; level of support from family;
  • Need for domestic violence intervention;
  • Budgeting issues;

Case management (Ongoing assessments) continues after the initial case plan is developed and is apart of all on going client contacts. The purpose of ongoing assessment is to evaluate the effectiveness of the case plan based on an expanding knowledge of client capabilities.

Areas to cover:

  • Level of performance and cooperation in case plan activities;
  • Appropriateness of support services payments;
  • Stability and appropriateness of job placement; client ability to select and maintain appropriate training and employment;
  • Need for more in-depth assessment of physical or mental limitations or learning disabilities;
  • Client motivation to change;
  • Current level of support from family for making changes;
  • Effectiveness of current activities; client ability to cooperate; good cause;
  • Issues that may not have been revealed in initial assessment, such as domestic violence, MH and A&D,parenting and children’s issues, etc.;
  • Indicators of issues such as domestic violence, mental health, substance abuse, physical or cognitive conditions, child neglect or abuse (look for referrals noted to other agencies, frequent moves/partners,etc.;
  • Degree of communication and joint planning with partners involved in case plan.


Opportunities For Change Pathway


  • Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk (CAPS)
  • Hope for Suffolk
  • DAAU Enterprise,LLC
  • NSU Masters of Social Work Interns
  • Suffolk Workforce Development Center
  • Virginia Tech, (VCE) SNAP program
  • Western Tidewater Re-Entry Council
  • Parole & Probation Tidewater District 6