American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
What is CSBG ARRA in Idaho?
The Community Action Agencies in Idaho have received $4.8 million in Recovery Act Funds for the purpose of “…job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization..” (PL 11-5). The Recovery Act has allowed us to broaden the range of innovative and employment-related services and activities that meet the needs of our communities. Our agencies, with ARRA, have focused on job creation and retention programs in addition to the much needed emergency services, energy programs, nutrition services, and children and families programs.
How are Idaho CAPs spending Recovery Act money?
We believe that increasing the education level of the community fosters sustainable employment. We support very successful GED programs throughout Idaho. All our agencies offer GED assistance through financial support and exam preparation, childcare and transportation assistance to complete the GED. EICAP has helped over 70 people receive their GED in the past year through a GED preparatory program offered at their homeless shelter.
In addition to GED assistance, our agencies assist clients to reach goals to receive higher education at technical or academic schools. Both SCCAP and WICAP have successful CDL and CNA programs paid for by ARRA funds. Through collaborations and partnerships with local truck driving schools and CNA schools, both agencies can help people gain employable skills.
Community Action offers innovative programs like that which is offered through El-Ada to help clients gain basic job skills. El-Ada and a local business development group offer a hands-on job skills class for people who want entry level work, but do not have the skills. This program helps people earn more income by learning different jobs in similar fields, such as, moving from being a dishwasher to wait staff. El-Ada offers this 6 week training course in their community.
On the Job training (OJT) is known to increase skills and help people become more employable in the long run. SEICAA is using ARRA funds to further develop their OJT program. Clients are offered employment to increase their skills, build a resume and gain employment contacts. Community Council of Idaho (CCI) who provides services to migrant and seasonal farm workers and low-income families throughout Idaho has been able to broaden their client base through ARRA funding. Idahoans who would not typically be eligible for services under CCI’s regular funding are now offered job training, job readiness services, job search assistance and supportive employment services for Idahoans. ARRA has allowed both agencies to expand their already established employment programs.
Our agency in the Northern part of Idaho, CAP, is using ARRA funds to further invest in their poverty ending initiative. The Circles initiative works within the community to build resources among community members. Employment and educational advancement are goals for clients who enter the initiative, understanding that increasing income eliminates financial poverty. Through Circles, clients make the needed employment contacts and gain access to jobs they may have not otherwise known how to access.
How many jobs have been created with CSBG ARRA funding in Idaho?
There have been 42.25 new jobs created and 8.5 jobs retained with CSBG ARRA funding in Idaho.
What did CSBG ARRA accomplish in Idaho?
The Recovery Act dollars allowed for strong program outcomes. Employment programs saw 438 unemployed Idahoans obtain a job because of the increased funding. Additionally, 35 Idahoans earned a living wage – enough money to support their family. A few of our agencies focused their funding on education programs and GED specific programs in which 172 adults obtained their GED. Other education programs yielded 1,357 Idahoans receiving Family Financial Education.
1,152 families retained their current housing and evaded homelessness with help of the Recovery Act dollars. These families used fewer community resources by not becoming homeless. CSBG ARRA allowed for 1,070 stayed connected to utilities. Utility companies could have lost over 1,070 customers without this help.