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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Workforce Investment Council

Help from Community Solutions

Workforce Challenge

As one of Oregon's Workforce Investment Act providers, Community Solutions provides highly focused career development, training and employment services to populations experiencing significant barriers to employment, specifically individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, criminal backgrounds, and/or long-term unemployment. A participant was referred to Community Solutions through Drug Court. He was frustrated, as he didn’t know how he was going to be able to get a job and still have time for his groups and court appointments.

Workforce Solution

The Community Solutions program serves 7 to 10 participants every quarter. By having these small groups, the participants get more individualized help. Specifically, participants receive: 5 day intensive job readiness training; assistance in finding appropriate jobs; career assessments and skills identification; resume preparation; classes in effective interviewing and completing job applications; weekly networking meetings; intensive (one-on-one) case management; and job placement and retention assistance.

In the case of this participant, the staff worked closely with the Treatment Court Coordinator to make sure that he would get in to see the judge first, so that he would not miss much of the workshop on Mondays. The participant completed the workshop, came in twice a week for job leads, networking and individual appointments with staff. He was very determined to get a job and they focused on jobs that would not conflict with his other appointments.

Outcomes & Benefits

Our provider worked with the participant for 2 months and he was employed on 11/23/10. Now, he is working 40 hours a week in a bakery with hours that allow him to make his other commitments. He checks in with Community Solutions staff every other week. The participant said that he tried a few other job search programs, but didn’t feel like he was getting what he needed from them. He talked about the benefits he received from our workshops, how it helped him with his resume, and interviewing skills. He is grateful to Community Solutions for the assistance he's received to get back on his feet.

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