Employment Services (Welfare To Work)

Welfare to Work is a program developed to help CalWORKs/TANF (cash aid) Customers find and keep a job. We can help pay job expenses so you can continue working, worry free. We may even be able to help you get job training or education so that you get a higher paying job that will lead to more money for your family.

warehouse worker


Mary started Turlock Job Readiness in February. She was friendly and nicely dressed, but came with many barriers which included a criminal record. While living in the bay area, she had a boyfriend who was involved in criminal activity that she was unaware of. One day after her boyfriend borrowed her car, they were pulled over by the police. Her car was searched and stolen items and cash were found. She was arrested and convicted of several felonies. Mary started class while still on probation.

At first Mary was resistant to the information that she learned in Job Readiness. In week two of Job Readiness she completed mock interviews and received some feedback, but was now more open to listening. Three days after mock interviews she had an interview at a large chain store. The interview panel asked her about her criminal background, and as taught in class, she explained that she had gotten involved with the wrong crowd and moved away from the bay area to restart her life, and just needed a second chance.

On the last day of Job Readiness Mary announced she got the job!



Denise came to the Community Services Agency and applied for CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Medi-Cal. She was 20 years old with a four month old baby. She had worked only part time in another state; it had been a few months since she quit her job to move back to California, to be closer to family and friends.

Denise attended Welfare to Work Orientation and Job Readiness. She was able to get help with interview clothes and after some difficulties she found a stable child care provider and received free Child Care. Denise was able to get a full time position, earning $1800 a month, after being on CalWORKs for just a few months.

Denise says that she really likes her job and is happy to be self-sufficient.



Belinda came to the Community Services Agency facing a number of personal issues that were keeping her from being self-sufficient; she was struggling with drug addiction, lack of self-esteem, and the challenge of caring for a special needs child. Belinda and her child did not have stable housing and were staying with various family members.

Since Belinda had only a few temporary jobs, she wasn't very optimistic about ever being able to get ahead in life. With encouragement and support, Belinda realized what she needed to do to make a difference in her life, including taking care of herself. With support Belinda was able to stop using drugs. She began seeing a dentist and after a while a beautiful smile emerged, and her self-esteem improved. Belinda began to believe in herself and she was able to get a full-time job with a state-wide company.

Belinda was doing so well, that she was transferred to an office in a bigger town and received a pay raise. She was also able to move into her own place and has been drug free for over three years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welfare to Work is a program developed to help CalWORKs/TANF (cash aid) Customers find and keep a job. We can help pay job expenses so you can continue working, worry free. We may even be able to help you get job training or education so that you get a higher paying job that will lead to more money for your family.

All adults receiving CalWORKS (cash aid) are required to participate in Welfare to Work, unless they have an allowable exemption. Some exempt individuals may volunteer to receive Welfare to Work services. Talk to your Welfare to Work Case Manager for more information.

If you are receiving CalWORKs/TANF benefits you should already be enrolled in the Welfare to Work program. If you are not currently receiving CalWORKs/TANF (cash aid) see the CalWORKs section for more information about eligibility requirements.

You will be assigned a Welfare to Work Case Manager who will work with you to create a plan with your employment goals in mind. Your personalized plan may include:

  • Employment
  • Help locating job openings
  • Job Readiness classes to get help with updating your resume and practicing interview skills
  • Enrolling in a training or education program
  • Counseling services with Center for Human Services (CHS), if needed to be able to work
  • Participation in the Community Services Program to gain valuable experience and skills at a job site in either a paid or unpaid site for up to six months; a great stepping stone to full time employment

Welfare to Work can also help you with things like:

  • Child care services so that you can attend work, school, or training
  • Clothing for interviews, work, school, or training
  • Transportation; mileage reimbursement or public transportation to approved activities
  • Other items that you may need to be successful

Workforce Development has a variety of services and workshops that are free and open to the public. Workforce Development has resource centers in Modesto, Oakdale, Patterson, and Turlock.

Employment Development Department (EDD) has a variety of free online services.

Digital MattiX also has a variety of free online services for job seekers.

CalWORKs can still help you, even if you are working. Working families receive certain deductions from their earnings, so they may still qualify for cash aid. Some people choose to stop their case if they make enough to reduce their benefits substantially, in order to save their months on aid for future emergencies, since there is a lifetime limit for CalWORKs. Even if you are no longer eligible, or choose to stop your case, you may still receive CalFresh (food stamps) and Medi-Cal.

You can use our interactive voice response system, by calling:
(877) 652-0734, to find out who your Case Manager is.

Please leave a message with your assigned Case Manager. If they do not return your call by the next day you may ask to speak to their supervisor. Your phone calls are our priority, so please let us know if you are not receiving a returned phone call.