Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0275.040.00 Work Experience Program

IM-37 June 17, 2011

The Work Experience Program includes both Alternative Work Experience Program (AWEP) and Community Work Experience Program (CWEP) activities.  Work Experience Program is an unpaid, volunteer work activity designed to improve the employability of Temporary Assistance (TA) recipients not otherwise able to obtain and maintain suitable employment.

AWEP/CWEP activities may be used to supplement other activities (other than Community Service Program) if the TA recipient is not meeting their hourly work requirements and he/she needs to gain additional work skills.  AWEP/CWEP is designed to provide work experience and training to assist the recipient to move promptly into regular public or private employment.

A TA recipient participating in AWEP/CWEP is considered an employee and functions as any other employee at a work site.  Prior to placement in an AWEP/CWEP position, the recipient is assessed for basic skills and other job-related skills.  The “MWA AWEP/CWEP Participant Agreement” is completed outlining the skills to be mastered and the proposed time frame for mastery.

AWEP includes work at employers in the private sector (other than those that provide social services) such as:

  • Accounting Firms
  • Garages
  • Beauty and Barber shops
  • Department Stores

CWEP is limited to employers or projects that serve a useful public purpose in fields such as:

  • Health
  • Social Service
  • Child Care
  • Public Safety
  • Environmental Protection
  • Urban and Rural Redevelopment
  • Education
  • Public Facilities
  • Recreation

AWEP/CWEP is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Only employers subject to the FLSA are allowed to participate as an AWEP/CWEP employer site.  AWEP/CWEP is also subject to FLSA calculation.  The maximum monthly hours the recipient may perform is calculated by the MWA System.  Refer to the Appendix Q – Definitions for more information regarding the FLSA calculation.  The employee may work flexible hours or make up hours at the discretion of the employer to meet the monthly allowable amount.

AWEP/CWEP is allowed for up to six months, with the possibility of extension for another six months if basic or assessed work skills still need to be mastered.  The Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) case manager, in collaboration with the worksite supervisor, makes the determination to extend the assignment when necessary skills have not been mastered in the first six months.  After skills have been mastered, the Individual Employment Plan (IEP) is modified.  The TA recipient should also update his/her resume to reflect this volunteer experience and their duties during this activity.