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What's New

What’s new in the world of Financial Literacy:

Our partner, Treasury is focused on increasing the financial capacity of America’s youth.  By financial capability, we mean helping young people gain the knowledge, the information, the skills, and the opportunity to make good choices about financial matters in the near term, and throughout their lives. Many young people don’t get important lessons on how to manage their money and plan for their future at home or at school. As the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans noted, “When young people receive their first paycheck, they are primed to learn more about money management and have a unique opportunity to make a timely and informed choice about their new income.”  Research from across disciplines has pointed out that connecting young people to the financial mainstream enables them to build and carry out “healthy financial behaviors” into adulthood.

Helpful Tips

A number of programs are underway to connect youth jobs programs with financial capability.  Here are some findings from these programs, and some links to places to learn more:  :

Engage high-level community support:

  • A recent National League of Cities guide recommends making financial capability a priority.  Local leaders can strengthen the financial empowerment of youth and the community by aligning financial institutions and other partners, and spotlighting the value of financial capability for young people. 

Encourage direct deposit of pay into a safe account:

  • Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund data shows direct deposit, combined with financial education, has been shown to increase youth savings.  It also helps eliminate costly check cashing and establishes good habits.  Cities can encourage youth to use an existing account or partner with banks or credit unions to offer accounts for youth.  Enrollment is the best time to sign-up youths for accounts. America Saves for Young Workers can provide tools and guidance.

Seek out high quality financial education partners:

  • Many communities have existing non-profit or other financial education organizations that can provide train-the-trainer, much like FDIC’s MoneySmart, or direct education to youth, like MyPath.  The federal government offers free online resources, such as the Financial Literacy & Education Commission’s MyMoney and the FDIC’s Money Smart.  Many non-profits provide free online resources as well.  For example, US Conference of Mayors offers education resources and incentives as part of its  DollarWise Summer Youth Jobs Contest.   Mobile apps, online games, contests, and peer learning are all being used to get young people excited about learning financial concepts and effectively managing their money.  For example, The MindBlown Labs’s game Thrive N Shine and the Doorways to Dream Fund, have seen positive results from gamification using mobile apps.

The Department of Labor has launched its new on-line community- WorkforceGPS

This site houses several youth related Communities of Practice and Collections all opened to the public:

  • Career Pathways, https://careerpathways.workforcegps.org/, helps workforce development leaders, practitioners, and policymakers expand state and local career pathways efforts currently underway or being planned.
  • Reentry Employment Opportunities, https://reo.workforcegps.org/, offers practitioners new ideas and tools to do the invaluable work of changing lives and renewing futures of former offenders.
  • YouthBuild, https://youthbuild.workforcegps.org, is a shared electronic space where grantees can share and review documents, exchange ideas, read and comment on blogs, and much more!
  • YouthCareer Connect, https://youthcareerconnect.workforcegps.org/, is a place where YouthCareer Connect grantees can find valuable resources and share ideas and best practices
  • Youth Connections, https://youth.workforcegps.org/, is an on-line learning destination for public workforce system staff and partners who serve youth.

There are 3 simple steps:

  1. Register for your WorkforceGPS account
  2. Go to “Communities” from the menu and choose one or more of the communities listed
  3. Be sure to bookmark the Communities for future accessibility: https://youthbuild.workforcegps.org/.

If you find that an account has already been created for your email address, you can reset your password here.


Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP)

The Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP) helps to support successful transition to the community by reducing barriers to public housing, employment, and/or educational opportunities for target youth. Target youth under this program are current public housing resident youth up to 24 years old who have a criminal record and/or former household members (who are youth up to 24 years old) of current public housing residents who, but for their criminal record, would be living in public housing. JRAP, funded via an interagency agreement with the Department of Justice, provides funding to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) who have established a partnership with an experienced, nonprofit legal service organization.


Jobs Plus Pilot Program

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 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. Learn more...

Read the Jobs Plus Pilot Program's blog


Consumer Protection

Visit FTC.gov to learn more information on how to protect yourself or an older adult against frauds and scams. Read more...


Did you know about these two Florida K-12 scholarship opportunities administered by Step Up For Students?

The Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) is a new program that helps families personalize educational plans for their children with special needs. To qualify, students in kindergarten through 12thgrade must be diagnosed with one of the following: autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, Williams syndrome or an intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment). Also, students deemed “high risk’’ due to developmental delays and not older than 5 on Sept. 1 may be eligible for the year they are applying. The PLSA allows parents to direct scholarship funds toward a combination of programs and approved providers including approved private schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology – even a college savings account.

Another option is the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC), a program created in 2001 which provides low-income families with financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees, or with transportation costs to attend a public school in another county. If a family’s household income qualifies for the free- or reduced-price school lunch program (185% of the federal poverty guidelines), or if the family receives SNAP (food stamps), TANF, or FDPIR, the student may be eligible.

Children in foster care or out-of-home care, or who are homeless also may be eligible for either of these TWO scholarships.

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit approved by the state to help administer both programs. To learn more about the scholarships, please visit www.StepUpForStudents.org.

Click here for more information.


Funding Opportunity Announcement

The Assets for Independence (AFI) program is administered through the Office of Community Services within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services. AFI enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach to giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. AFI projects help participants save earned income in special-purpose, matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). AFI project families use their IDA savings, including the matching funds, to achieve any of three objectives: (1) acquiring a first home, (2) capitalizing a small business, (3) or enrolling in post-secondary education or training.

Government entities are eligible to apply for an AFI grant, but only if they submit an application jointly with a nonprofit organization that has 501(c)(3) status. PHAs are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria and to take advantage of the upcoming Webinars, listed below.

For more information about AFI, visit the Assets for Independence Resource Center at http://idaresources.acf.hhs.gov/Home.

Click here for more information.


Having books to read – at home and in the classroom – is the number one predictor of reading success.


Important SNAP benefit changes and what this means to families who participate in the program.

Click here for more information.


The Affordable Care Act and Adolescents: New Issue Brief and Infographic

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March of 2010.  Millions of Americans have already benefited from many of the law’s provisions including coverage for preventive health services, a ban on lifetime limits, and insurance coverage for young adults.  The expansion of Medicaid coverage and launch of the Health Care Marketplace will help millions more obtain insurance coverage in 2014.  The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation created a series of research and issue briefs to analyze the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The most recent brief in this series, "The Affordable Care Act and Adolescents," and this accompanying infographic describe how the law addresses the unique health needs of adolescents. Both were developed in conjunction with the HHS Office of Adolescent Health. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act Click here for more information.


The Affordable Health Care Act and What it Means to those low-income Families We Serve


Children of Incarcerated Parents Launches Website

There are 2.7 million children in the United States with an incarcerated parent. On June 12, 2013, the Federal Interagency Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents (COIP), led by the Domestic Policy Council (DPC), officially launched its website http://findyouthinfo.gov/youth-topics/children-of-incarcerated-parents. Here service providers, families, and caregivers can access information and tools for better supporting the needs of COIP, and follow the federal government’s efforts regarding improving outcomes for this population.  Read more...


The U.S. Department of Labor announces a new Grant Application and Award Database

The U.S. Department of Labor has an online, user-friendly Grant Application and Award Database,  http://www.dol.gov/dol/grants/ . This database may be used by Choice Neighborhoods grantees in further coordinating their employment-related efforts. They  can use this tool to quickly determine recent DOL grants awarded in their communities, and upcoming grant announcements.   Please note that the database has not been updated to include new FY13 grants awards, however, that information will become available in the near  future. For now, any grants awards made after September 1, 2011 are reflected.

Immediate Openings: Job Corps is Now Enrolling!

Job Corps is seeking new applicants to fill immediate openings and restore its 125 centers nationwide to full capacity.

A U.S. Department of Labor program, Job Corps provides eligible students with academic and career technical training, room and board, counseling and mentoring services, and basic medical care. Young people ages 16 through 24 who meet low-income requirements can enroll in the program at no cost to them by calling (800) 733-JOBS [5627].

Job Corps graduates train in the skills needed to start a career, enlist in the military, or move on to pursue higher education. Students have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma through partnerships with local school districts or a high school equivalency credential. Job Corps also provides career counseling and transitional support for up to 21 months after graduation.

Most Job Corps students reside on-center in dorms, but some who live nearby can choose to commute. The most successful Job Corps students stay in the program 1 to 2 years, depending on their pace of achievement and whether they choose to pursue advanced training.

Job Corps is seeking help from the workforce system to spread the word to young adults who could qualify and benefit from this program. Please make sure that those who work in the One-Stop system helping jobseekers know that Job Corps is enrolling. Also, we ask the Youth programs and providers to spread the word, especially to the summer youth employment programs around the country.

If you know of someone age 16 through 24 who may be a good fit for Job Corps, call (800) 733-JOBS [5627] or visit Job Corps’ website or Facebook page to learn more. Click here for a flier about Job Corps’ open enrollment.

Want to know more? Click here for an e-brochure with additional information about Job Corps. You can find a Spanish version of the brochure here.


US Department of Housing and Urban Development - Admissions/Eviction Policies for Public Housing/Voucher Lease Holders

For more information read "U.S. Department of HUD Admissions/Eviction Policies for Public Housing/Voucher Lease Holders."


Income Mapping Tool

Click here for "Income Mapping Tool" that provides incomes of every U.S. neighborhood.


WSJ.com - Public-Private Fund Aims at Health Care, Housing Gap


MetroTrends announces new Data Dashboard, Maps, and Download Tool. Click here for more information.


Important information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration on the Affordable Health Care Act – use this tool to locate a center in your area.


"Credentials for Youth" Tool

The U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Youth Services, recently launched a “Credentials for Youth” tool, https://youth.workforce3one.org/page/credentials,  on ETA’s Youth Community of Practice to help workforce professionals identify promising occupations for youth served by the workforce system, and the credentials that help youth attain them.

Attaining postsecondary and occupational credentials is critical for youth to be successful in the 21st century economy. Good-paying jobs in high demand industries generally require postsecondary education or training. Plus, the earnings bump that accompanies postsecondary credentials is well established. To help workforce professionals identify promising occupations for youth served by the workforce system, and the credentials that help youth attain them, ETA has developed the Credentials for Youth tool on Workforce3One’s Youth Community of Practice. This tool, available at https://youth.workforce3one.org/page/credentials, provides a step-by-step process for helping youth attain credentials in high demand occupations. First, it connects users to resources that can help them find high demand occupations in their local area using labor market information. It then helps practitioners identify promising occupations for youth and determine which of those occupations have pathways to career advancement. Finally, the tool helps discover the credentials required for the identified promising occupations and provides certification information about specific occupations, including links to certifying organizations. In addition to the step-by-step process, the Credentials for Youth tool also provides local examples of programs that help youth attain credentials.


Integrating Financial Empowerment Strategies into Housing and Homelessness Prevention Programs

While homelessness has been a “persistent and enduring feature in American history,” the recent economic downturn is producing a new face of those at risk of homelessness and a growing sense of vulnerability among many Americans. Many families live only a few paychecks away from being homeless, lacking the financial cushion to sustain themselves in the event of a job loss or unexpected medical bill.

Recognizing the need to address the increasing vulnerability of families and individuals in their communities, several local governments and nonprofit organizations across the country are implementing innovative financial security and asset-building strategies that seek to expand the financial cushion for their residents and clients. These strategies are those that help individuals and families better manage their finances, maximize their income and build a safety net. They include debt counseling and credit repair, financial education, access to low-cost checking and savings accounts, and free tax preparation assistance.

As the face of those at risk of homelessness changes, so too must the response. This Guide explores the options that exist for these responses, and how financial empowerment strategies can be incorporated to the broad slate of programs offered by housing programs and homelessness prevention programs.

To download “Integrating Financial Empowerment Strategies into Housing and Homelessness Prevention Programs,” click here.


NCCS Community Platform

The NCCS Community Platform combines data on nonprofit organizations from The Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics and the Metropolitan & Housing Policy Center with interactive online tools to provide communities with resources and knowledge for building civic capacity for problem solving. The Platform supports local collaboration and civic leadership across a wide range of issues from education, human service delivery, and public health to community development and the environment. We are working with local partners in nine states and communities. Platforms are customized for local partners and combines tools, mapping programs and community assets for analyzing finances, sharing knowledge, services, tracking program outcomes and other resources, and more.

Download the NCCS Community Platform brochure.  


 Joint PIH/CPD Notice on Promoting Partners to Utilize Housing as a Platform for Improving Quality of Life

HUD’s Strategic Plan 2010-2015 envisions housing as a platform for improving residents’ quality of life. This notice strongly encourages Community Planning and Development (CPD) funding recipients and Public and Indian Housing (PIH) funding recipients, including Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), to forge partnerships with public and private agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that HUD-assisted residents are connected to health care, education and social services, as needed.