Welfare Reform is the umbrella for programs such as Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope (PATH). PATH is a Michigan Works! employment and training program for those receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The purpose of PATH is to provide orientation, assessment, career counseling, supportive services, job search skills, and career skill training to customers referred by the DHHS to the PATH Program. The goal for each PATH customer and two-parent family is to establish and maintain a connection to the labor market.
Customers referred to the PATH Program must attend a general orientation. During orientation, they are informed of available program activities, program expectations, and customer supportive services. The customer then meets individually with a case manager to develop an Individual Service Strategy (ISS). At this time, work history, education level, barriers to employment, and career goals are identified, and a plan of action developed.
Following orientation, customers attend a series of comprehensive job skills workshops called Job Readiness. During these workshops, education and career assessment are conducted and the job market outlook is discussed. Also, counseling, resume preparation, and interview skills are offered to customers. Special workshops are offered on topics such as motivation, professional appearance, self-esteem, budgeting, domestic violence, etc.
At the conclusion of Job Readiness, customers begin their job search activities through Job Club activities. Equipped by professional quality resumes, job leads, interview techniques, and appropriate interview clothing, PATH customers register on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect, utilize the phones and computers in the PATH office, consult newspaper classifieds, and "pound the pavement" in search of a job. Customers are able to consult with PATH staff and use other resources available in the office.
When a PATH customer has secured employment, he/she completes a placement form, which documents the job to PATH and the DHHS. The PATH staff conducts employment retention follow-ups and continued contacts are made through cash assistance case closure.