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CMHA Jobs Plus Program Kick Off

The Campus District on August 31, 2015 - 10:28 am in Learn, Live, Project

CMHA and its stakeholders and partners, including Campus District, Inc., recently convened as part of the planning process for the upcoming Jobs Plus program. The program will officially start later this fall, funded by a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently $3 million four-year grant to CMHA. The vision of the program is:

To lead a collective of impact partners and residents that offers an effective, transparent, locally relevant, place-based workforce development program, with a strategic HUD SEED component, to create sustained and desired transformational change for multigenerational public housing residents and  simultaneous achievement of family success.

Jobs Plus will assist public housing residents at CMHA’s Carver Park Estates and Outhwaite Homes Estates in three ways: Community Supports for Work, Employment Related Services, and Financial Incentives (Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard).

Community Supports for Work efforts will include saturating the two public housing communities with program information so that a forum can be developed for members to share accomplishments and motivate others to succeed. Resident-to-resident conversations will be held, concerning Jobs Plus, resident experiences, and the benefits of work.

Jobs Plus will provide classes, workshops, trainings, entrepreneurial and post-secondary educational guidance, mentoring, and supportive services as part of its Employment Related Services. These services are designed for legal residents, both youth and adults, of Carver Park and Outhwaite who are able and willing to work.

Financial Incentives will also be available as part of the program. First, rent will be stabilized for the duration of the grant period, up to 4 years, so that an increase in earnings from new employment will not result in an increase in rent. Monthly rent will only remain consistent if the resident is enrolled in the Jobs Plus Program and the Earned Income Disregard program and if the resident remains a legal resident of Carver Park or Outhwaite.

Expected outcomes of these three initiatives, and the Jobs Plus program as a whole, include:

  • Job placement, retention, and ongoing supportive services for work, including upward mobility in the workforce;
  • Creating and sustaining a culture of work amongst residents spread throughout both communities; and
  • Financial incentives for stabilized rent, which will encourage residents to pursue economic opportunity.

The program seeks to show these public housing residents the kind of short-term and long-term personal, professional, and family success they can achieve when they commit to working with a coordinated, reputable, transparent team of individual, organizational, and institutional partners who believe in their abilities and have the expertise to help them secure or advance in jobs, establish or grow a business, and complete a post-secondary educational program.

The Campus District looks forward to working Cuyahoga Community College, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Cleveland State University, and other partners to link nearby residents to neighborhood employment.

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