The Employment Security Commission (ESC) is the presumptive primary deliverer of job placement services for the Work First Program and a critical partner with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Registration for work with ESC will be a prerequisite to participation in the Job Search component of Work First. All work eligible participants who are assessed as ready to engage in job search will be required to register for work with ESC. The participant’s job seeker status will remain active with ESC for ninety (90) days. The participant must reactivate their profile with ESC every ninety (90) days in person, by phone or through the internet as long as the participant is assigned to the job search component to be matched for jobs. This requirement will be included on the individual’s Mutual Responsibility Agreement (MRA) Plan of Action (DSS-6963B).
Failure to register for work with ESC as part of the Job Search component will result in the family not receiving their Work First Benefits. The caseworker will evaluate the family members for Medicaid if appropriate.
Counties may contract with the local Employment Security Commission for additional services such as job search, job placement, and referrals to community resources.
Reasonable accommodations may be necessary to assist individuals with disabilities with registration and to access to employment services.
1. ESC will register all work eligible adults who are assessed as ready to engage in job search. The intent of registering for work is to have an evaluation by ESC staff to assess job readiness accurately and make appropriate referrals. The registration could result in an immediate job referral.
2. The participant must register for work, make contact with an ESC worker to request their job seeker status to become active, or update and reactivate their profile in NC JobConnector. (NC JobConnector is ESC’s automated job matching system.) If these actions are completed within thirty (30) days prior to beginning job search, the caseworker may omit this requirement from the MRA Plan of Action. Document on the MRA the date the participant registered or that their status is active with ESC.
3. Work First participants may self-register for work via the ESC website or directly through NC JobConnector at www.ncesc.com or www.ncjobconnector.com. If the participant chooses to self-register, it is the individual’s responsibility to confirm they have completed the registration by printing the “Profile Activated” page provided.
4. In a two-parent family, both parents must complete the work registration process if they are assessed as ready to engage in employment.
5. Caseworkers must inform participants that it is their responsibility to notify their caseworker (prior to the deadline given to register for work) if they are unable to complete the work registration process. If the participant is unable to complete the work registration by the deadline, evaluate whether there is good cause. If good cause is established, revise the MRA Plan of Action and set a new deadline date. The caseworker and participant must sign the revised MRA Plan of Action. If there is not good cause, do not release the WFB payment.
6. Caseworkers may complete and provide participants with the Work Registration Indicator form (DSS 5313) to take to ESC when registering for work. This form will notify ESC that the individual is a Work First participant.
There may be instances in which a participant is required to register for work but cannot complete the work registration because the individual needs reasonable accommodations. To meet the registration requirement, complete the Partial Application Card (Figure 118-1) based on information provided by the participant.
Forward the completed form to ESC where it will be entered into the ESC system.
Allowing for mail time and keying time at ESC, assume the registration is “complete” 5 workdays from the date the completed form was sent to ESC.
Verify work registration by:
1. Email, phone, or fax from ESC staff.
2. Inquiry into the Online Verification (OLV) system. The FRST tab will indicate the office and date in which the participant registered, and the job referrals pending.
3. Print “Profile Activated” page from the NC JobConnector website showing the Job Seeker Status as “Active.”
If a participant moves from one county in North Carolina to another and applies for Work First in the new county of residence; they must either register for work, reactivate job seeker status and/or update their profile with the ESC in the new county if it is a requirement on the new Mutual Responsibility Agreement Plan of Action.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.