The activities of the Employment Unit are a vital factor in managing the
level of the cash assistance caseload.
Our Front Door
Diversion Program, wherein we initiate employment activities and
requirements at the point of application for cash assistance, successfully
diverted 989 people from entering the cash assistance rolls. Of these
30% obtained employment and the rest were denied assistance for lack of
cooperation with the employment process.
Through a contract with Employment and Training we are able
to refer applicants and recipients to job
readiness training called CHOICES. In 2003 we referred 342 people to
that program. Of those who attended
CHOICES, 39% found employment while participating in that program.
Our Memorandum of Understanding with the New York State
Department of Labor (NYS DOL) gives our agency access to the Statewide Jobs
Bank. We work in collaboration with that office in areas of job development
and supervised job search. By the end of 2003, our close working
relationship with the above agencies had resulted
in the placement of 360 individuals in paying jobs.
NYS DOL allocates one (1) full time job counselor to
to facilitate job placement. The
assigned job counselor is based at this agency, providing for better
collaboration and customer service.
The hourly wages
earned by participants ranged from $5.15 per hour to $20 per hour. Many
of the placed clients continued to be eligible for the work supportive
benefits of Food Stamps, Medicaid, HEAP and Day Care. In addition many also
qualified for assistance with work-related transportation expenses under the
Community Solutions for Transportation block grant.
Solutions for Transportation block grant enables us to assist with such
transportation expenses as car insurance, registration fees, inspection
fees, auto repairs, tires, bus tokens, taxi fares and gas cards. In 2003, we spent $51,420 in federal block grant funds to assist 875
people traveling to and from work.
We are convinced that these programs are of invaluable
benefit to the population we serve as well as the public as a whole.