2010 Appropriations Bill Includes New Funds to Help Disadvantaged Workers

Dec 18, 2009

By Neil Ridley

The 2010 federal appropriations bill provides for the first time federal funding for transitional jobs to help people with barriers to employment, such as ex-offenders and long-term welfare recipients, enter the workforce.

Transitional Jobs programs provide access to employment for individuals who have little or no work experience and multiple barriers to employment. The programs combine time-limited subsidized employment with a comprehensive set of services, such as basic education, job skills training, and case management.  See Making the Employment Connection or Earning and Learning: Options under the Workforce Investment Act for more information.

Given the challenges facing many jobseekers in the current labor market, this new federal investment in such a promising employment strategy comes at a critical time. The bill includes $45 million for transitional jobs, $15 million of which is dedicated to employment strategies for ex-offenders, who often have extreme difficulties finding employment after they have completed their sentences.

Transitional Jobs programs work. This week, MDRC released an evaluation of transitional jobs for welfare recipients that revealed:

  • Participants assigned to the transitional jobs program experienced a more than 20 percent increase in employment compared to the control group.
  • Participants earned nearly $1,000 more than the control group over 18 months.
  • Employment gains were not limited to the subsidized jobs - there was almost 10 percent increase in the share that ever held an unsubsidized job.

Further, a previous evaluation of transitional jobs for ex-offenders found both employment impacts and a reduction in recidivism.

Funding Transitional Jobs programs is part of CLASP's recommendations for putting more Americans back to work. View Jobs Creation: Creating Work and Learning Opportunities for Low-Income Populations to learn more.

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