Pathways to Careers
The following are the steps taken by a local Pathways project to ensure the highest possible quality of service to its employer partners, and to ensure the success of its career-seeking customers:

Introductory Presentation and First Site Visit
After having made contact with a local employer, Pathways staff will visit the business to deliver an introductory presentation or Concept Portfolio. This presentation provides the employer with a complete description of the Pathways project and its services.

During this visit, Pathways staff will also take a tour of the business site (additional visits will be scheduled to other locations, as necessary). This site visit will allow staff to form an initial impression of the business and its talent needs.

Pathways Staff Conduct Work Site Tour
Based on the initial site visit and the input of the employer, Pathways staff will recommend one or more worksite areas that might be a good fit for a current or prospective Pathways participant. This visit will be used to gather more precise detail about the skills required of employees in various sites, and the workplace environment of each.

In some cases, and with their permission, Pathways staff will schedule multiple visits to an employer. Everything they learn during a site visit is used to create a better, more precise match between the employer and the candidate during the internship and employment phases.

Partnership Agreement
Based on the information gathered in the earlier visit, Pathways staff will then propose a Partnership Agreement to the employer. This will detail the likely next steps of the partnership, and will provide a clear outline of the responsibilities of the project and the employee in that partnership. This agreement will be negotiable, and of course the employer may accept or reject it as they see fit.

Pathways provides a paid internship phase, funded by the project. This allows both the employer and the intern to learn more about one another before having to make a decision regarding permanent employment. Internships typically last between 8 and 12 weeks. At this stage, both the intern and the employer are provided considerable support from Pathways staff. Staff are also using this phase to learn everything they can about the long-term arrangements and support that would be required to make the intern a successful employee.

Following the internship phase, the employer has the option of making an offer of permanent employment, but they are under no obligation to do so. Similarly, the intern is under no obligation to accept. When an offer of employment is made and accepted, the Pathways team works with the intern to develop a long-term support plan for their success on the job. Staff will work as closely as needed with the employee and the employer to put adequate supports in place, and will stay in touch with the intern for five years to ensure their long-term success.

Hiring a Pathways candidate comes with an additional benefit to the employer, in the form of a simulated Payroll Tax credit designed to give the employer up to $7,000 per year in savings against their FICA tax payments. The Employer Payroll Tax Adjustment (EPTA) is designed to give employers an additional incentive, and to provide them with an ongoing source of funding to provide any long-term supports a candidate might require. This incentive is a policy innovation that the Pathways project is demonstrating, with the goal of achieving its adoption in the IRS Tax Code.

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