There are a variety of employment training and education programs offered for Transitional Aid for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) clients under the Employment Services Program (ESP). The primary goal of these programs is to provide clients with the basic skills, education and support services needed to acquire and retain jobs.

Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants (ORI) 
Through an Interagency Service Agreement (ISA) with the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants (ORI), comprehensive Employment Ready services are provided to eligible Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) clients:

The ORI Employment Ready Program provides assessment, employment ready and job placement services to non-English and non-Spanish speaking former refugees and/or immigrants currently receiving TAFDC. Services are provided in the client's primary language. This ESP program makes it possible for DTA to serve populations who have a wide range of cultural and linguistic barriers to employment. This program also offers support services.

The ORI Employment Ready Program helps TAFDC clients with job search and job readiness activities. Activities include:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: including work history, life experience, interests, avocations and skills.
  • Job Search: includes finding and developing job leads, telephone skills, interview techniques and preparedness, resume writing, employer expectations and job retention.
  • Workshops and job fairs: available through Career Centers, providing clients with the Division of Career Services (DCS) jobs database to locate employers. ORI will also provide Job Placement follow-up by providing support services once a client has found employment.

Career Centers

Career Centers are designed to help job seekers through a self-directed program find a job, or get information about training opportunities. Each Career Center has free resources to help job seekers apply for jobs (via telephones, faxes, computers and copiers), and can help with job search. In addition, Career Center staff will provide job seekers with information about training opportunities, including financial assistance for the cost of vocational education or training programs for those who qualify, and assist job seekers with the application process. Career Centers are located in most major cities in Massachusetts. To locate the closest Career Center, please contact the (DCS) at 617-626-5300.

Employment Training and Education

Employment Training and Education

These programs are predominantly short-term (4-12 weeks) and are targeted to clients with minimal barriers to employment. Services may include assessment, job readiness, job search skills instruction and practice, skills training or educational activities, job placement and initial supports once placed. Examples of such programs may include: Business Skills Training, Certified Nurses Aide (CNA), Child Care Training, Clerical Training, Computer/Data Entry Clerk, Customer Service, Dental Assistants, Electronics Assembly, Food Services, Home Health Aide, Legal Secretary, and Medical Office Skills

Workforce Investment Areas (WIA) Employment Training and Education Program

The WIAs either provide direct services or subcontract with a variety of community-based agencies, schools, and other non-profit organizations to provide employment training and education services and job placement services to DTA clients. Employment training and education services are predominantly short-term with a job placement outcome. Some programs also integrate basic education services. WIA services include English for Employment (EFE) and support services.

High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)

ESP provides HiSET examinations through agreements with testing centers certified by the Department of Education. The HiSET Diploma is critical for ESP clients who have dropped out of school but wish to secure a level of academic certification to enhance their employability. This service is available to all eligible TAFDC clients.

Employment Supports

The Employment Supports Program is specifically designed to serve TAFDC clients with considerable barriers to employment. Clients are placed in highly supportive work sites where they earn wages and receive a reduced TAFDC grant. At the end of the program, they are placed in unsubsidized jobs. The program components included Employment Supports Services; Employment Supports Work; job placement, Employment Retention Services and follow-up services.

Young Parents Program (YPP)

The Young Parents Program is designed to serve pregnant and/or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include assessment, Adult Basic Education, high school/HiSET education, life and parenting skills, counseling, prevocational activities, job development, job placement, and follow-up services. The primary goals of the program are to increase the educational attainment level of participants to help them obtain a high school diploma or HiSET; and to assist young parents in securing employment through vocational education and training.

Community Service

Community Service organizations provide on-site work experience to clients with a work requirement who are not meeting their work program requirement in an approved ESP activity, or working. Participation is based on the person's work program requirement hours per week, is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and may supplement an approved ESP activity or employment (e.g. 10 hours community service and 10 hours work).


This information is provided by the Department of Transitional Assistance.