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Franklin County Opportunity Center (South Community Center, Columbus)

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Appendix V
Ohio
The role of the workforce development system in providing employment
and training assistance to TANF clients in Pickaway County is to make
formal client assessments and develop job openings that are appropriate
for the clients. The workforce development system also assists with
identifying and providing for clients' training needs, such as short-term
vocational training, and provides one-on-one retention services after
placement.
Franklin County
The center is part of a system of centers in the county--called opportunity
centers--dedicated to serving only welfare clients. It is operated by the
Opportunity Center (South
County Department of Human Services, and the staff are all county
Community Center,
employees. All TANF-related services are available on-site. At the time of
Columbus)
our visit, the county had 8,912 TANF assistance groups (all families).
All TANF clients at the Franklin County Opportunity Center receive similar
services in the same order. Figure V.6 shows the client flow at this center.
After an initial screening, the client is assigned a caseworker who
interviews the client and reviews the case. The caseworker stays with the
client throughout the process and may also assist the client in obtaining
food stamps, Medicaid, assignment to rehabilitation or counseling, and
assistance in identifying the noncustodial parent. The first work
assignment for all TANF clients is a 2-week self-esteem and job-readiness
class. This class must be completed before the client begins receiving cash
assistance.59 After the class, if he or she is not yet employed, the client
goes to the job club. Clients with reading and math levels below eighth
grade may take basic skills courses for 10 hours a week but must perform
some other work activity for an additional 20 hours per week. In addition,
some short-term training classes are provided to clients who need them.
One such short-term training class--called Marketable Office Skills
Training--is a collaborative partnership between the county, the Urban
League, IBM Corporation, and the United Way. This 13-week, 25-hour
program assists clients in acquiring or updating their computer skills.
59
After 1 week in readiness training, however, the client may begin to receive food stamps.
Page 97
GAO/HEHS-99-22 Welfare Reform Employment Assistance

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