The purpose of the Jobs Plus Pilot program is to develop locally-based, job-driven approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy
for residents of public housing.
The place-based Jobs Plus Pilot program addresses poverty among public housing residents by incentivizing and enabling employment through earned income disregards for working families, and a set of services designed to support work including employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement, and financial counseling.
Ideally, these incentives will saturate the target developments, building a culture of work and making working families the norm.
The Jobs Plus Pilot program consists of the following three core components:
Employment-Related Services Financial Incentives – Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID) Community Supports for Work Applicants are encouraged to develop key partnerships to connect participants with any other needed services to remove barriers to work.
An Individualized Training and Services Plan (ITSP) should be developed for each participant to establish goals and service strategies, and to track progress.
Background HUD, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the MDRC, through a public-private partnership, designed and supported the Jobs Plus program model between 1998 and 200 3. HUD has issued two separate evaluation reports on the demonstration, in an effort to identify and document the most promising approaches to increasing employment among families in public housing.
Each evaluation showed ongoing positive effects for residents when the program was well-implemented and included the three core elements.
More information on the findings can be found at http://www.mdrc.org/project/jobs-plus-community-revitalization-initiative-public-housing-families#overview.
Employment-Related Services Successful applicants must partner with the Department of Labor Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and American Job Center (AJC)/One-Stop in their area to offer multiple employment-related services for residents with a range of employment needs.
Local Labor Market Information (LMI) should be used both for initial planning and analysis of which employment opportunities are most available locally, as well as for monitoring ongoing trends.
Program services provided on-site should include, but need not be limited to, the following:
Career exploration/job readiness workshops Job search and job placement assistance Work experience including on-the-job training, internships, pre-apprenticeships and Registered Apprenticeships (HUD encourages opportunities for residents to be paid while training whenever possible) Facilitated connections to education and training opportunities Rapid re-employment assistance in the event of job loss Proactive post-placement job retention support and career advancement coaching Access to computers, phones, fax, and copy machines and other supplies, for participants’ employment-related uses as well as adequate training on how to use these technologies To facilitate these employment services, applicants may consider having dedicated, on-site, workforce system staff to perform job developer and case manager functions.
Job developers work directly with the business community to identify and create employment opportunities and act as liaisons with local employment agencies.
Case managers work one-on-one with participants to guide them through the employment process and help them achieve employment-related goals.
Financial Incentives – Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID) Successful applicants must also implement a financial incentive to program participants, known as the Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID).
This component will neutralize any rent increase due to rising income for Jobs Plus participants, removing a major disincentive to employment.
Rent incentives offered through JPEID will be reimbursed to the PHA via Jobs Plus appropriations, and should be included in the program budget.
Any other compensation to the PHA for lost rent revenues, such as by the standard EID calculation in the Operating Fund, will be offset manually to prevent overpayment of HUD funds to grant recipients.
Further guidance will be available at the time of the award.
All residents in a Jobs Plus development are eligible to receive the JPEID benefit, but in order to access JPEID they must sign up for the Jobs Plus program even if they do not actively participate in other Jobs Plus Activities.
Residents who previously used up some or all of their lifetime EID eligibility are eligible to receive the full JPEID benefit.
The JPEID excludes from the Family Rent calculation 100 percent of incremental earned income for the entire period of the Jobs Plus program.
Calculation of the JPEID.
Once the JPEID is triggered for a family, their baseline income will not change for the duration of the term of the grant (so participants who enroll early may benefit from the JPEID longer than residents who enroll later.) To facilitate reimbursements for rent revenue losses due to the JPEID, grantees must calculate and document each participant’s Family Rent both before and after the inclusion of any incremental earned income.
The difference between these two rents is the amount to be reimbursed to the PHA through JPEID.
These calculations must be provided to HUD when drawing reimbursement funds.
As with any government benefit, an increase in earned income may result in the reduction or loss of other benefits that an individual was previously receiving.
Grantees, through case management or other means, must be prepared to help residents understand the overall financial impact of an increase in earned income and the JPEID.
It is also expected that grantees will encourage participants to take advantage of other financial work incentives they may be entitled to, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Community Supports for Work Successful applicants will incorporate a robust engagement strategy for involving the residents in the targeted development and creating a working community.
Engagement is more than signing up – sustained involvement in the program leading to residents' ownership of their own growth and experiences, as well as that of peers, will yield continued benefits for both participants and future residents of the development beyond the grant period.
Program outreach should be directed towards residents at all points along the employment spectrum – from unemployed individuals with no work history to working underemployed families with substantial work history.
Unless an application specifies that the applicant will target a limited sub-group, the application narrative should include strategies to target this wide range of potential participants, as well as strategies for retention.
One key strategy for retention should include the use of residents as Community Coaches.
Community Coaches can market the various aspects of the Jobs Plus program, disseminate information about job opportunities and programs via resident social networks in the development, mentor specific individuals or groups who enroll in Jobs Plus, and help shape program offerings and outreach efforts based on their intimate knowledge of the needs and strengths of the community.
Partnerships with Local Agencies The comprehensive nature of the Jobs Plus Pilot model requires that PHAs establish partnerships with American Job Centers and other key social service agencies within the community.
HUD and DOL have developed a toolkit and webinar which describes effective strategies for establishing partnerships between PHAs and WIBs/AJCs (see “From the Ground Up:
Creating Partnerships between Public Housing Authorities and Workforce Investment Boards” at (http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=14_dol_publication.pdf) The toolkit provides several models for partnership that prospective applicants may want to consider.
These partnerships will serve to strengthen program planning and implementation, as well as streamline access to services for participants.
For each partner identified, applicants must describe the role of the partner agency and a description of the services to be provided by the partner agency, as well as the amount of grant funding (if any) that partners will receive.
Applicants should demonstrate their ability to build collaboration among all partners, regardless of whether a partner will be receiving grant funding for their services, or if the services will be provided in-kind.
Partners should include:
Workforce Investment Boards/American Job Centers Local welfare agencies Employment and training organizations Vocational training providers Community colleges and four-year educational institutions Other supportive service agencies providing either direct services or referrals to services that are critical for supporting successful employment In addition to employment, training and educational supports, grantees will have the flexibility to provide other supportive services based on resident needs and local capacity.
HUD expects that all services that are generally available to residents of the community will be leveraged in-kind from partners.
Grant funds should only be used to procure services that are not already available (either by service type or amount).
Examples of the types of services that may be provided by grant funds, formal partners or the program’s referral network include but are not limited to the following:
Child care services and/or after school programs Transportation assistance Financial literacy workshops Legal services (e.g.
expungement) Domestic violence prevention services Services for formerly incarcerated/returning citizens Life Skills Other applicable local business support