Thanks to its outstanding record for providing workforce development services, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota has been chosen to provide Minnesota Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (MSTED) program services in Ramsey County.
Boyd Brown, Area Director, Employment & Training at Goodwill-Easter Seals, feels that the study could have a valuable impact in our community. “We will determine if subsidized work can help long-term employment outcomes for people with barriers – ultimately by creating a clear pathway out of poverty.”
MSTED is a study that provides subsidies to employers who hire job seekers in the program. It is designed to measure the impacts of subsidized employment for participants and the businesses that employ them. Developed from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study of national subsidized employment models, MSTED is a joint program of Goodwill-Easter Seals, HIRED and Ramsey County Workforce Solutions. The funding comes from Ramsey County Workforce Solutions through Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds.
“We hope to place over 100 people” says Andrea West, Workforce Development Manager for Transitional Employment at Goodwill-Easter Seals. She will be managing the project at Goodwill-Easter Seals and be aided by Workforce Development Supervisor Kyle Van Acker and three Career Specialists. Scheduled to run through June 30, 2016, the program will place Ramsey County participants of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) into jobs.
The stated goals of the demonstration are to determine the difference subsidies make for participants and to assess the cost-effectiveness of the programs versus the benefits it provides. West also explains that ultimately the goal of the study is to understand, “whether providing subsidized employment helps someone’s long-term employment.”
“As our mission says, our goal is to eliminate barriers to employment,” states West. “The MSTED program provides support to people who are in poverty, have families and likely have other barriers to obtaining employment.”
Individuals must be referred to the program from a MFIP counselor. Once in the program, they are randomly assigned to one of two groups: one with access to paid work experience and a subsidized workforce, or to a control group that has access to all other TANF services – except paid work experience or subsidized employment. Both paths are designed to help individuals build skills and work experience that help them succeed in a competitive job market.
While it is possible that the program may expand into another county in the future, for now Goodwill-Easter Seals will work with participants in Ramsey County who have received assistance from the MFIP for more than six months.