Integrating financial security services into workforce development programs can achieve greater impact without requiring significant cost and time. Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) and The Financial Clinic (the Clinic) have partnered to analyze the effects of financial security services on workforce development programs, with results released in four issue briefs. The briefs can be retrieved individually, or in their entirety.
Renegade Buggies is a free app that can be downloaded from both iTunes and Google Play and helps parents and children gain financial literacy skills together. The app was developed by the National Center for Families Learning in partnership with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and was named Instructional Game of the Year (2015) by the Institute for Financial Literacy. It encourages both financial literacy and families learning together.
The Learn to Earn Toolkit is a product of the National Center for Families Learning and is a free online tool for intermediate and advanced adult learners of basic workforce skills. Ten different topic areas are presented and include topics such as critical thinking, diversity, professionalism, and oral communication. There are five topics in both the intermediate and advanced levels, and links to learn more about specific career fields are embedded throughout the toolkit.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps increase the benefits of work for low-income individuals, but workers without children can only receive a maximum of $500 a year. This MDRC report includes interim findings from the Paycheck Plus Demonstration in New York City, which tested the idea of expanding the EITC to working single adults without dependent children. The project recruited over 6,000 adults in New York City, and half were randomly selected to receive a Paycheck Plus bonus if they went through the process of applying for it.
This Abt Associates report details evaluation results from Family Self-Sufficiency programs in Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In these programs, Compass Working Capital partnered with local public housing agencies to provide case management and an escrow savings account to help participants achieve their financial goals. The researchers compared the change in earnings, welfare income, credit scores, and debt over time between program participants and a matched comparison group.
This Prosperity Now brief describes how three types of housing organizations have started to integrate financial capability services into their housing programs. Those housing organizations include affordable housing developers, public housing authorities, and housing counseling organizations, and they most frequently offered financial education or one-on-one financial counseling and coaching.
The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund released the results of an evaluation of a three-year investment in free, one-on-one financial counseling to residents in five cities. This project was based on a model that originated in New York City, in which individuals in financial trouble receive personalized help from a professionally trained counselor through their local government. Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with Denver, Lansing, Nashville, Philadelphia, and San Antonio to see how they could replicate this model.
Almost half of American families are financially insecure, and financial capability programs have the potential to provide solutions. This brief from The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzes four different types of financial capability programs for economically vulnerable Americans: literacy, counseling, coaching, and planning. Each section links to research and program examples of all four types of financial capability programs.
Many American families experience significant shifts in income from one year to the next. These shifts, known as income volatility, make it difficult for families to balance paying expenses and planning for the future. This report from The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzes the differences between families that experienced income volatility and those that did not. The researchers found that more than a third of American families experienced a large year-to-year change in income, but Hispanic families and families without a high school diploma were more likely to experience income volatility.