Innovative City and State Funding Approaches to Supporting Subsidized Employment and Transitional Jobs

Source: Chris Warland, Melissa Young, and Elizabeth Lower Basch, National Transitional Jobs Network at Heartland Alliance and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), March 2013

This joint paper by the National Transitional Jobs Network at Heartland Alliance and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) provides suggestions and examples of innovative funding strategies for subsidized job programs to cities, states, and other public-sector entities that are considering or have decided to implement or expand subsidized employment programming. In particular, the paper may be helpful to sites that operated subsidized employment programs under the TANF Emergency Fund, and are interested in building on that experience, but can no longer access TANF funds at the previous scale.

A number of cities and states have successfully leveraged and combined multiple sources of funding. The paper analyzes these strategies and makes recommendations based on prior successes. Beyond accessing dedicated federal or foundation grants, three major approaches to paying for some or all of the costs of a subsidized employment program are examined, including:
1. Accessing flexible block grant funds;
2. Using state or local funds based on averting future corrections-related expenses; and
3. Tapping into public contracting and bidding opportunities in order to generate program revenue.