United Way’s Joshua Mamis sent in this release about a new program to help low-income job-seekers with that little bit of cash that can make all the difference:
You’ve been offered a job but you need to buy a uniform in order to start. Or you need to pay the deposit to secure child care. Or you need to get your car fixed so you have reliable transportation to get you to work.
These are among the barriers that keep people from being able to find and keep a job.
A new initiative called The WorkPath Fund is designed to offer Connecticut parents with dependent children a solution: a small grant to cover basic job-related costs to help overcome these and other similar barriers to employment.
The WorkPath Fund will provide a one-time grant of up to $1,000 paid directly to the vendor to cover job-related costs. The grants are designed to help families in need who are not eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
A collaboration led by the CT Commission on Children, Liberty Bank Foundation, Workforce Alliance and the four other workforce investment boards in the state helped raised the initial $105,500 for the WorkPath Fund from a group of 11 nonprofit organizations, including United Way of Greater New Haven.
“We know that when families have been out of work, they have often used up their savings and don’t have the money needed to cover costs associated with starting a new job,” says Jennifer Heath, United Way’s executive vice president. “One of United Way’s areas of focus is to help improve families’ financial stability. This investment will help people get back to work so that they can support their families and contribute to the economy.”
The WorkPath Fund fulfills a goal of legislation passed in 2010 by the Speakers Task Force on Children in the Recession to support parents with dependent children in times of recession and high unemployment. The Fund was announced at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford last Friday.
Grant applications will be available through CTWorks Career Centers. In New Haven, CTWorks is located at 560 Ella Grasso Blvd (203-624-1493); in Hamden at 37 Marne St. (203-859-3200). Anyone interested in making a donation to the fund can do so at www.WorkforceAlliance.biz/WorkPath.html.