Employment & Training Programs
Populations Served: TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), Adult and Dislocated Workers, Non-Custodial Parents, Ex-Offenders, Refugees, Youth
EDSI’s job readiness curriculum and workshops are designed to provide clients with a comprehensive understanding of workplace expectations and the skills to meet those expectations. Clients prepare for job search by building successful interviewing skills and developing a comprehensive, quality work portfolio, including resumes, cover letters, recommendations and thank you notes. Other critical components focus on developing effective strategies for successful team collaboration, increasing awareness of personal styles and strengths as they prepare to enter the work environment and building effective and positive communication skills. The program design has been successful with a variety of populations because it simulates the responsibilities and demands of the workplace and helps clients build the essential characteristics and behaviors that are most important to employers.
EDSI provides individualized case management services for each client, tailored to his/her specific needs and capacities. The primary goal of every case management interaction is to move the client toward the ultimate goal of self-reliance through employment. EDSI staff helps the client create and follow an individualized employment plan and identify solutions to any challenges they may face. EDSI staff members focus on the client’s strengths and provide motivation and encouragement, which builds the client’s self-confidence and capacity for self-reliance.
EDSI assesses clients’ skills through the following process:
- Skilldex® – EDSI’s web-based system surveys individual skills and identifies and catalogs the skill needs of employers – especially employers with a shortage of workers or a high demand for specific skills. Skilldex matches employees or jobseekers to employers, producing a job match report as well as a skills gap report identifying training and skill development needs.
- Job Task Analysis (JTA) – The focus of EDSI’s Job Task Analysis is to identify and document the job tasks that are being performed in each job. During the job analysis interview, EDSI works with employees who are among the company’s most knowledgeable and experienced employees and are consistently the highest performers in their jobs (referred to as Subject Matter Experts) to determine the tasks they perform and how their job tasks are organized.
- Skill Gap Analysis – EDSI’s Skill Gap Analysis uncovers jobseeker skills immediately and quickly identifies the appropriate training which may be needed to succeed within a certain position.
EDSI makes every effort to place the individual in a job that provides self-sufficient wages. Through Skilldex and other assessments, we are aware of the client’s current occupational skills and prior work history. Staff reviews the lists of current job openings to match a client to an employer and the client is given the information to make a call for an interview. For those clients requiring special assistance, or if there are no current openings in a specific industry, EDSI staff make cold calls to potential new employers to positively represent the skills of the client seeking employment. Staff follow up with the employer post-interview to gain insight regarding the client’s strengths and areas needing improvement. This information is shared with the client.
To ensure that a comprehensive job bank is established and maintained throughout the program, EDSI staff goals are to: develop employment opportunities in all labor market sectors represented in the community where a need exists for employees, maintain information on individual employers and their current or emerging needs, and contact employers directly on behalf of individual clients to arrange for and follow up on interviews. Staff are assigned specific industry clusters so they can develop expertise on the needs and opportunities in specific industries. They also recruit professional speakers knowledgeable about high demand jobs to present informational workshops for our clients.
EDSI‘s retention strategy promotes positive adjustment to the workplace and job stability by providing ongoing services to all clients who become employed. After a client is placed in subsidized or unsubsidized employment, EDSI staff provide support through weekly client contact for the first 60 days and then once a month through 180 days of employment. These contacts, including both face-to-face and telephone conversations, will allow the client to discuss any personal, family or job-related issues. The ongoing communication between EDSI staff and the employed client is key to helping the client adjust to the demands of employment and gives them an opportunity to talk about his/her achievements as well as the challenges they face. Where challenges exist, EDSI staff helps clients to develop problem-solving strategies to ensure they succeed in a new workplace environment.
EDSI staff work together to identify advancement opportunities for clients, including opportunities to increase hours at the current placement, training information for the current employment industry, or job training for alternate careers. In addition to the support of EDSI staff, retention incentives have proven to be a successful retention strategy. For example, incentives, in the form of gift cards, may be offered to clients reaching 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and 180 days in employment. Other positive reinforcement strategies include Client Appreciation Days to reward clients with raffles, special workshops, motivational speakers and job fairs. Retention clients are encouraged to attend these events to recognize their achievements and to reinforce a connection to the EDSI team.
The EDSI Experience
We wanted to hear what our clients had to say about their EDSI experiences, so we took a road trip to three of our program locations in Pennsylvania.