Family Economic Security Project

2014 - Focus on Employment:

Mission: Improve the ability of unemployed, underemployed, and recently employed workers in Genesee County to obtain and retain work by improving the delivery of employment support services.

Why: Reform of social programs has resulted in decreased reliance on DHS for case management services. Despite decreased DHS reliance, economic insecurities have caused an exponential increase in the demand for employment and reemployment services. Genesee County citizens do not know where to turn or how to strategize for employment opportunities and overall financial stability. As a result, human services agencies (and many employers) are evaluating what services and help low wage workers need to achieve success at work and how the community can best connect those in need with programs and services to meet these needs. 211 is a valuable service that provides general lists of available services. However, no organization currently coordinates among locally available services. UIA requires active job searching but only indirectly points recipients to support services that could expedite workforce reentry, increase longevity potential, and aid career development. Thus, without a clear route and strategy, many low wage workers struggle to find and access help. Delays in acquiring assistance can ultimately result in loss of a job opportunity or a job itself.

Project Process: Step One involves engaging with services providers to map out existing services and identifying areas where there are unmet needs. Mapping includes characterizing services by worker characteristic, defining assistance categories, and identifying access barriers. Recipient feedback is also important throughout the process and ensures that the project deliverable creates measurable value. Step Two analyzes provider input to determine the best access points for different populations and effective interagency referral approaches. The Project concludes with strategies and best practices recommendations for connecting workers to available services and addressing service gaps. The final report and tools will be available to interested organizations and those seeking assistance.

Projected Achievements: The long term future of Genesee County and the well-being of its citizens depend on whether the residents who are able to work are alerted to, and retain, available and emerging jobs. A favorable employment environment can be secured by consistent and clear services with obstacle-free access, efficient referral efforts, and prioritizing service deployment for unmet needs.