For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
2012 Dutchess Budget Proposal to Include Funding to ‘Break Down Barriers’ to Employment
Steinhaus Expands Partnership with Chamber and BOCES
Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced his 2012 county budget proposal will direct more than $365,000 to break down many of the barriers to maintaining employment for those who receive funding assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The funding is aimed to eliminate some of the obstacles that face young adults, those with transportation issues and women who have been victims of domestic violence with targeted programs through the Dutchess County Department of Social Services.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “The goal is simple – help people overcome the barriers that prevent them from employment and connect them with employers who have positions to fill. By helping them overcome the employment obstacles they face, we can help put people on the right path to financial stability and independence.”
More than $200,000 will be directed for a new employment program targeted for young adults ages 18 to 25 years old who currently receive funding assistance through the TANF program. The Department of Social Services will work in partnership with Dutchess County BOCES, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce (DCRCOC) and local employers.
The number of people ages 18 to 25 years old receiving TANF assistance has grown explosively over the past five years. In 2006, there were 185 such TANF cases. Year to date for 2011, more than 1880 people in this age bracket have received some form of TANF public assistance, a startling 916% increase.
Dutchess County BOCES will work with individuals to evaluate job readiness and develop job skills with training to match available job placements. The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce will provide coordinated job matching and provide mentoring services including customized budgeting and goal setting. Local employers will be eligible for up to $5/hour wage subsidies for up to six months when they hire program participants.
The program will provide young adult job seekers with assistance overcoming some of the barriers they may face obtaining employment including transportation, daycare, and/or purchase of uniforms, tools or other employment related items. In addition, $85,000 will expand existing youth employment services through the Chamber of Commerce.
Investment in these programs can pay long term dividends for taxpayers as increased employment results in decreased need for taxpayer funded public assistance. Inability to find employment can also lead many young adults to make poor life choices, resulting in increased taxpayer costs in other county operations including Mental Hygiene and the Office of Probation and Community Corrections.
Victims of Domestic Violence
Women who have left domestic violence situations often face unique challenges finding employment, particularly when they have young children. County Executive Steinhaus’ 2012 budget proposal will include funding for child care services for women who have been victims of domestic abuse, enabling them the opportunity to find housing and employment to shorten the road to self-sufficiency.
Transportation issues can be one of the most difficult barriers to stable employment. Some people have never learned to drive, while others who can drive have difficulty maintaining a reliable vehicle. There will be $50,000 in program funding directed to Dutchess County BOCES to help eliminate these transportation barriers. BOCES will utilize a driver’s education car to teach job seekers how to drive and get people to their road test.
100% funding for each of these programs will come through federal TANF funding streams.
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