Poverty Reduction Strategies in the Central Valley Reducing Poverty in Stanislaus County: Subsidized Employment and Beyond February 24,2011.
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Poverty Reduction Strategies in the Central Valley Reducing Poverty in Stanislaus County: Subsidized Employment and Beyond February 24,2011
Stanislaus County Demographics: Impacts of the Current Economic Decline County population in 2010 - 532,000 Unemployment rate increased from 7.7% in 9/07 to a high of 19.2% in 3/10. The current rate is 17.6%. Over 30% of adults over the age of 25 have not completed High School and do not have a GED. 4 th highest in California for home foreclosures. One in every 12 homes received a foreclosure filing in January 2011. One out of every three persons residing in the County receive some type of public assistance (Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CalWORKs, or General Assistance).
TANF ECF : Subsidized Employment Implemented TANF- ECF Subsidized Employment program in July 2009. The program was operational through September 2010. Contracted placement services and payroll through local WIB – Alliance Worknet (AW) and Kelly Services. To ensure a smooth transition, customers enrolled in and participating in Community Services Placements and Vocational Training were the first to be evaluated for the program. Customer target was set at 550 participants per month. Over the lifetime of the program over 900 customers were placed in subsidized employment positions. Overwhelming customer participation. Types of placements: Private and Public Total wage expenditure: $9.8 million Outcomes: 20% of those placed attained full time employment, 10% attained OJT positions through AW prior to attaining full time employment.
Subsidized Employment October 2010-Present Current customer target is 250 per month. Referrals are obtained from Orientation, Job Club, Family Service Specialists, Social Workers, and other contracted Service Providers. Placement services and payroll continue to be administered through a contract with our local WIB – Alliance Worknet (AW) and Kelly Services. Public and Private placement Linkages – CalWORKs/Child Welfare Combine subsidized employment (work experience) with basic skills training, basic education and GED preparation. $4.2 million –October 2010-June 2011 (nine months) Funding opportunity: AB 98 Outcomes: Transition to Employment/On the Job Training
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Child Tax Credit EITC is regarded as one of the most effective and efficient anti- poverty programs. The program benefits working families with children that have income below $48,000. Refunds average $2,488 per household. In 2009, EITC lifted an estimated 6.6 million people out of poverty, including 3.3 million children. EITC lifts more children out of poverty than any other single program, including CalWORKs and CalFresh. In 2009, it was estimated that 2.4 million California residents would claim over $4.95 billion in EITC refunds. Due to low participation it is estimated that the San Joaquin Valley (Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare) suffers a foregone business sales impact of more than $180 million and a foregone employment impact of over 1,100 jobs.
EITC Outreach Initiative It was estimated that in Stanislaus County, over 12,000 potential claims for EITC refunds go unclaimed each year. The total lost opportunity exceeds $17 million. Tax preparers on average charge between $150-$300 for this service. An additional fee is charged for Refund Anticipation Loans. In 2010 Stanislaus County partnered with United Way and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Collaborative (VITA) to host an Free EITC Tax Preparation Event on February 20 at the Community Services Agency main facility. Mailers were sent to all TANF-ECF Subsidized Employment participants, CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, and CalFresh customers. Certified VITA volunteers completed Federal and State tax returns for 111 residents at no charge. Total refunds for returns completed equaled $166,189- EITC refunds made up $118,063. A similar event was hosted on February 5, 2011. Over 125 individuals attended. Another event is scheduled for March 5, 2011.
Hunger Prevention Initiative Families living in poverty must make difficult choices each month and often do not have sufficient funds to meet their basic needs,i.e. housing, transportation, health care, child care, clothing, and food. In 2010, CSA entered into a partnership with Children and Families Commission and Modesto Junior College focused on improving the health outcomes for children. Three Community Based Organizations were awarded contracts to perform outreach activities related to the CalFresh program, including assisting with the completion of applications, quarterly reports and annual redeterminations. In addition, these organizations provide health and nutrition education. In the summer of 2011, Modesto Junior College will be embarking on a Healthy Lifestyles Initiative that will include a Nutrition Instructor, and a classroom/lab facility. This initiative will serve as a bridging activity for Welfare to Work customers.
For further information please contact: Kathy Harwell Assistant Director Community Services Agency P.O. Box 42 Modesto, CA 95353 firstname.lastname@example.org 209-558-2540