Employment Models for Transitional Jobs

Workforce Services Information Notice

Issued: August 16, 2021

Many job seekers, especially those who are chronically unemployed and have barriers to employment, could benefit to receive a transitional job under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This allowable work-based activity provides individuals with a subsidized paid work experience to gain experience, access unsubsidized employment, and obtain skills needed to succeed in the workforce.

Local Workforce Development Boards (Local Board), especially those approved for the COVID-19 30 percent Transitional Job Waiver (PDF), can leverage worker cooperatives and employment social enterprises as effective employment models to meet the needs of WIOA participants.

Worker Cooperatives

Worker cooperatives allow workers to become owners of the programs they participate in and creates wealth building for participants. Worker cooperatives can also support small businesses by allowing them to expand without hiring full-time staff until they have grown sufficiently to cover costs, while simultaneously training job seekers for opportunities with large employers. Below are some organizations that use worker cooperatives:

  • Jewish Vocational Services
    Jewish Vocational Services has partnered with cooperative staffing agency Turning Basin Labs and the Small Business Majority to provide training in bookkeeping and accounting. As an employee of the cooperative while in training, workers can receive benefits including health insurance. Trainees can buy into the cooperative after working 100 hours, and as shareholders, receive a share of profits distributed at the end of the year.
  • Trust for Workers
    Trust for Workers is a worker cooperative program for childcare, home care, and healthcare workers that serves providers nationwide. The Trust is a vehicle for workers to take an ownership interest in companies that administer large-scale home care programs to more effectively influence operations and ensure high road practices. It is administered by Cooperative Home Care Associates, Industrial Cooperative Association Group, and Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute with support from Service Employees International Union 775.
  • Allied Up
    Allied Up is a worker-owned cooperative supported by Service Employees Union United Healthcare Workers that focuses on providing allied healthcare professionals to hospitals and healthcare systems. The intent is to re-envision healthcare staffing to create better outcomes for low-wage workers, patients, and their communities

Employment Social Enterprises

Employment Social Enterprises (ESE) are mission-driven, revenue-generating businesses that invest the money they make into jobs and training for people with diverse talents and experiences who are striving to overcome employment barriers. Independent research has verified that the experience these businesses provide more than doubles job retention, increases wages and incomes, and decreases recidivism. Below are some organizations that use ESE’s:

  • Center for Employment Opportunities works to reduce recidivism and increase employment by providing people returning from prison immediate paid employment, skills training, and ongoing career support.
  • Conservation Corps North Bay provides young adults with opportunities to transform their lives through paid work, education, employability, civic engagement, and leadership.
  • Homeboy Industries is the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. It helps formerly gang-involved, and previously incarcerated people, by offering hope, training, and job skills.
  • Neighborhood Industries operates thrift stores and provides transitional employment for people facing barriers to work.

For more information or for technical assistance about using the transitional employment models outlined above, email the California Workforce Development Board at CWDBPolicyUnit@cwdb.ca.gov.

/s/ RICARDO FAVILA, Acting Chief
Central Office Workforce Services Division

Last Revised: 01/26/2022