The County Department of Human Assistance offers a variety of training and skills-building activities through CalWORKs (the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). The program is designed to help individuals with children reestablish themselves in the workforce so they no longer need public assistance.
“We help hundreds of determined people every year build their confidence, develop skills and gain valuable work experience,” said Paul Lake, Director of Department of Human Assistance. CalWORKs clients are permitted to receive cash aid for up to 48 months, as long as they are actively participating within the Welfare to Work programs provided by the County. Clients must participate for a predetermined amount of hours, varying on family dynamics, every week. Those who actively participate and take advantage of the opportunities presented are often successful at finding employment.
Even during times when clients are still on the hunt for a new job, the County offers programs that help participants gain work experience. CWEX, the Community Work Experience Program, partners participants with public and private businesses to gain work experience. Although the work is unpaid, clients gain real world experience and have the ability to make connections with local professionals.
But even with training, the right help, and a great attitude, finding a job can be difficult. Ms. Sanders, a Sacramento resident, struggled to find work after putting herself through college at Cosumnes River. She began receiving aid through CalWORKs while participating in the County’s training programs. After 48 months of training and job seeking her aid ended and Ms. Sanders still had no success in finding employment. Despite losing her financial assistance, she persevered with job seeking and stayed in touch with County staff who continued to help her through post-aid services, including resume building skills. Less than four months later she secured a job at a hospital working in radiology, making enough money to move her and her children out of subsidized housing and into a home of their own. She continues to keep in touch with County staff and is proud to report they are doing well.