Case Study of an Employment Program Serving People with Low Income: Business Link

Case Study of an Employment Program Serving People with Low Income: Business Link

Published: Sep 02, 2021
Publisher: Mathematica and MEF Associates
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Associated Project

State Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Case Studies

Time frame: 2018-2021

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

Authors

Riley Webster

Mary Farrell

Key Findings
  • Business Link’s main approach to serving people with low incomes is to deliver employment-based interventions that provide job placement and subsidized employment opportunities to cash assistance recipients and other people with low incomes who live in New York City.
  • Business Link provides three core services: (1) matching of residents to jobs identified by job developers, (2) temporary paid work experience and work readiness training through the Job Training Program for individuals who receive cash assistance, and (3) 20 weeks of subsidized employment and work readiness training through the Shelter Exit Transitional jobs program for cash assistance recipients in the shelter system.
  • Promising practices include providing subsidies to employers for hiring individuals with low incomes, creating close relationships with employers to develop job opportunities, and dedicating staff to work with job seekers experiencing homelessness.

This case study describes Business Link, a program providing job placement and subsidized employment opportunities to recipients of cash assistance and other people with low incomes who live in New York City. The program establishes connections with local businesses and helps them recruit, screen, and hire job candidates. The goal is to help people achieve self-sufficiency by matching participants who are ready to work with available job opportunities. Business Link is housed in the New York City Human Resources Administration.

This case study is part of the State TANF Case Studies project, which is designed to expand the knowledge base on innovative approaches to help people with low incomes, including TANF recipients, prepare for and engage in work and increase their overall stability. Mathematica and its subcontractor, MEF Associates, were contracted by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to develop descriptive case studies of nine innovative state and local programs. The programs were chosen through a scan of the field and discussions with stakeholders. TANF practitioners and staff of other programs can learn about innovative practices through the case studies. The studies also can expand policymakers’ and researchers’ understanding of programs that support people’s success in work and highlight innovative practices to explore in future research.

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