Employer Information about the Work Experience for ASPIRE Participants Program

A joint welfare-to-work project of Maine's Department of Education, Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services-Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment (ASPIRE) and, the Maine Department of Labor-Bureau of Employment Services (BES) offers employment and training programs designed to develop an individual's critical employability skills and help them successfully transition to employment. Work experience opportunities are intended to focus on individual worker vocational interests and, develop essential employability and occupation specific skills.

  • Work experiences are planned, structured learning experiences that take place in a workplace for a limited period of time.
  • The primary goal of the work experience program is the development of the participant in meaningful and lasting ways that will prepare them to enter the workforce. Work site supervisors are critical members of the developmental team of professionals in the work experience program. The supervisor spends time with the participant in a real work environment and can teach the participant much about appropriate workplace behaviors, expectations, work standards, and problem solving skills when things don't go the way the participant expected or hoped. Using the techniques of mentoring to establish a firm, positive, trusting and respectful relationship with your participant will reinforce the competencies and skills that your participant is developing.
  • For many participants, this work experience may be their first chance to test their abilities and to learn about their career preferences and what they need to accomplish to achieve them. They will have the opportunity to gain competence and confidence in areas which are basic and common to almost all jobs. For others who are recently unemployed or under-employed, interested in getting back into a job or career, this will provide them the opportunity to hone work skills or learn new skills within their career interests.
  • A team of professionals will be working together to provide the environment required for this kind of total learning experience for participant. The core team members; the participant, the work site development specialist and the Work Site Supervisor have an interest in ensuring personal and employment success.
  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit that offers an incentive for private sector businesses to hire individuals from 8 targeted groups that have consistently faced significant barriers to employment including TANF/ASPIRE participants. If you are a for-profit employer, please see the following link for more information: http://www.mainecareercenter.com/services-programs/hiring/wotc/index.shtml

Maine CareerCenter: http://www.mainecareercenter.com/
DHHS/Office For Family Independence : http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ofi/services/home.html
Program Rules: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ofi/rules/

Contact Information

Michelle Cameron-Doughty, Program Manager
Maine Department of Labor/Bureau of Employment Services
55 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04330-0055
Email: michelle.cameron-doughty@maine.gov
Phone: 207-623-7990
Fax: 207-287-5933