Organization: Xerox Corporation and Their Supportive Services
One of the central challenges of
the WtW Voucher program is to help participants obtain or retain employment and
make the transition from welfare to work. Part of this challenge is in identifying
employers that are willing to work with individuals making the transition from
welfare to work. Employers that are willing to offer participants jobs and advancement
opportunities provide housing authorities and their partners a potential solution.
Xerox Corporation is one such company.
Solution: the Xerox
Re-entry to Work Program
Xerox works in partnership with several organizations
to hire welfare recipients. Partners include community-based organizations such
as Women in Community Service (WICS), So Others May Eat (SOME), and government
entities including housing authorities and Department of Labor Welfare to Work
grantees. These partners are responsible for providing Xerox with work-ready employees
who then interview with Xerox Staffing and Development Managers for open positions.
After an individual is hired, the partner is responsible for providing a minimum
of 12 months supportive services for the employee. Services vary by partner, but
typically include transportation and child care as appropriate.
part, Xerox hires individuals as temporary employees, provides them with an hourly
wage of $8 to $10 an hour, and 10 percent of regular employee benefits for the
first 90 days of employment. After the initial 90 days, employees whose placements
are working out are hired full time and receive full benefits and appropriate
Xerox also has created two programs to assist Welfare to
- Friends at Work provides the employee with a "leader,"
a fellow employee who volunteers to acquaint the new employee with the workplace
and serves as a mentor for him/her. Xerox matches "leaders" with the
new employees ("learners") based on several factors, including interest
surveys completed by both parties. This program curriculum is available through
the Welfare to Work Partnership or by calling 1-888-USA-JOB1.
Genesis program also provides these new employees with a credit card and a line
of credit through the Xerox Federal Credit Union. This program provides financial
training to these new employees as well as a toll-free number for them to call
for answers to their financial questions.
initiated the program in response to the 1996 welfare reform legislation. It began
as a pilot in 1997 and went national in 1998. Xerox representatives designed the
program and approached potential partners with their ideas. The company worked
with Grant Associates to seek out and develop partnership opportunities and with
WICS to design its Friends at Work program.
The Re-Entry to Work program
(formerly known as the Welfare to Work program) was designed as a self-sustaining
business model. As such, partner organizations refer work-ready (not trained,
but work-ready) welfare recipients for interviews at Xerox. Xerox interviews several
TANF recipients and hires the most impressive.
1999, Xerox hired approximately 180 TANF recipients (6 percent of all new hires).
The company's retention rate for welfare to work employees is 65 percent within
the first two years. Xerox is committed to expanding the program and its percentage
of WtW hires through additional partnership opportunities. Xerox estimates that
the program costs the company approximately $20,000 per employee, including wages.
These costs are comparable to those for any new Xerox employee. Costs for partners
vary depending on the level of supportive services and job readiness training
Art Corrales, Xerox' Manager, Community Outreach and
Business Alliances, attributes the program's success to the following factors:
- Strong support from company leadership - Xerox' CEO is a friend of former
President Clinton and is committed to supporting welfare to work efforts
- Good community building organizations - partners who are able to provide
quality job candidates without significant demands on company staff or time
- Good mentoring, both through Xerox' "leaders" and through
supporting partner organizations.
offers two assessment
forms that can help PHAs and their partners evaluate participants and other
- The Performance Assessment Form is a short
form used to evaluate Welfare to Work employees each week.
- The Assessment
Model Welfare to Work Self-Evaluation Form identifies organizations that have
the capacity to meet Xerox success criteria for preparing and supporting job candidates
for welfare to work.
of Cooperation between the District of Columbia Housing Authority and Xerox
Corporation describes the nature of their partnership and can be used as a template
for other PHAs and partners.
For more information,
contact Art Corrales
at (703) 287-2635. Mr. Corrales will then set up a meeting between him, your PHA,
and local Xerox representatives.