For Immediate Release: December 18, 2009

2010 Appropriations Measure Includes Money to Help Disadvantaged Individuals Get Jobs

Earlier this week, President Obama signed the FY 2010 appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, which for the first time provides federal funding for transitional jobs to help people with barriers to employment, such as ex-offenders and long-term welfare recipients, enter the workforce.

The appropriations bill includes $45 million total 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 are an effective way to help people who want to work but have some barriers access jobs," said Neil Ridley, senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). "Given the challenges facing many jobseekers in the current labor market, we are pleased to see this new federal investment in such a promising employment strategy."

Transitional Jobs programs help individuals, who have little or no work experience and multiple barriers to employment, access and maintain 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 CLASP's publications Making the Employment Connection or Earning and Learning: Options Under the Workforce Investment Act or visit the National Transitional Jobs Network for more details.

This appropriation comes the same week that 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.
  • They 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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