1.8 Weathering the Storm: Employment Strategies That Work


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1.8 Weathering the Storm: Employment Strategies That Work

Speaker: Liz Schott

To transition back into housing and off of time-limited rent subsidies, families and youth require immediate assistance to achieve sustainable work and economic security. This workshop will examine strategies that have helped low-income parents and youth find and maintain employment. Presenters will discuss strategies cultivated from successful subsidized and transitional employment program models and strategies for parents experiencing homelessness

Published in: Career, Business
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1.8 Weathering the Storm: Employment Strategies That Work

  1. 1. Improving Pathways to Work When the Economy Is Weak Liz Schott National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness February 9, 2012
  2. 2. Improving Pathways to Work During a Weak EconomyWith high unemployment and limited resources, itis critical to maximize use of existing resources • Shift employment and training resources to models with the best chances of success • Tap into programs not focused directly on employment that contribute to employment success • Improve existing job search programs • Create partnerships with agencies in a position to apply for funding for demonstration projects 2
  3. 3. Shift Resources to Programs with Evidence of Success• Not all programs are created equal• When jobs and resources are limited, important to shift resources to programs with clear records of success• Three examples: • Individual Placement Support • Sectoral Employment Programs • Subsidized and Transitional Jobs 3
  4. 4. Individual Placement SupportKey elements: • Rapid job placement (competitive employment) • Individualized job placement – requires strong focus on job development • Combines Intensive support (including mental health treatment) with work • Estimated costs: about $3500 per participantEvidence: • Significant increases in employment (as much as twice as other employment models) for individuals with mental health conditions 4
  5. 5. Sectoral Employment ProgramsKey elements: • Industry-focused and employer-linked short to medium-term training • Varied industries – manufacturing, construction, healthcare, paralegal, informatio n technology • Opportunities: Health Profession Opportunity Grants (already awarded but in the planning phase)Evidence: • Impressive results: significant increases in employment; participants more likely to earn higher wages and to have benefits 5
  6. 6. Subsidized and Transitional EmploymentKey elements: • Wages paid with public or foundations funds; puts money directly in the hands of people in need, but is costly to implement • TANF Emergency Fund demonstrated the feasibility • Provides a positive starting point for people who may not otherwise find employment for a very long time • Need to identify funds that could be redirected (e.g., TANF) or encourage foundation investmentsEvidence: • Significant increase in employment while in a transitional job, but not in unsubsidized employment – suggests a need to focus more on transition when the subsidy ends 6
  7. 7. Tap Into Programs Not Explicitly Focused on EmploymentExample: Home Visiting Programs • Home visiting programs usually are focused on improving health and parenting-related outcomes, but can impact employment • Major effort underway through health reform ($1.5 billion over 5 years); focus on at-risk pregnant women and children from birth to 5Evidence: • Building Nebraska’s Families with a focus on teaching life skills significantly increased earnings for the most disadvantaged TANF recipients • Other home visiting programs often show improved family self-sufficiency (Early Head Start –Home Visiting, Healthy 7 Families America; Nurse Family Partnership)
  8. 8. Improve Effectiveness of Job Search ProgramsContext: • Job search is the most common service provided to unemployed individuals –important to maximize its effectiveness • The odds of success are daunting: four individuals looking for every available jobStrategies to Increase the Chances of Success: • Develop direct linkages with employers; focus on good matches • Ensure individuals have strong cover letters, resumes, applications and job search plans • Provide support to help individuals sustain their job search 8 efforts in the face of constant rejection
  9. 9. Create Partnerships With Agencies Positioned to Apply for Demonstration Grants• Workforce Investment Act Agencies: Career Pathways Innovation Fund Grant Program ($122 million)• Health Career Training Providers: Health Profession Opportunity Grants ($67 million) and Public Health and Prevention Fund Workforce Grants ($253 million)• Maternal and Child Health Agencies: Home Visiting Programs ($1.5 billion over five years)• Almost certain, more to come…. 9