Welfare to Work

The Community Work Experience Program (CWEP) is a 3-month program that is intended to provide Work First New Jersey recipients with work opportunities that will help them develop the skills, knowledge and work behaviors needed to get and keep a stable job. Rather than earning an hourly wage, individuals participating in CWEP receive their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and food stamp benefits in exchange for the hours they work. Individuals are assigned to entry-level jobs at government and nonprofit employers and are generally expected to work 35 hours per week. 

The Job Search/Job Readiness Program (JSJR) is a 4-week, 20-day workshop that is focused on helping Work First New Jersey recipients obtain stable employment at the earliest opportunity. To enhance job prospects, JSJR participants receive assistance identifying their job interests and aptitudes as well as in acquiring the employment skills and supports (such as child care and transportation assistance) needed to find and keep a job. The workshop covers a range of topics each geared toward reinforcing the message that work is valued. Workshop activities are divided into morning classroom sessions and afternoon job search sessions. During the structured classroom sessions, workshop participants develop resumes, search and apply for jobs and practice interviewing skills. Afternoons are devoted to structured job search activities. Participants are required to complete a detailed activity log to track how they spend their time. JSJR participants are generally expected to participate in the program 35 hours per week. Participants devote 3.5 hours per day / 17.5 hours per week to classroom activities. An equal amount of time is devoted to the afternoon job search activity

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