News Council lobbies Legislature to include Employment Services language in budget

The Providers’ Council and 10 of its members who provide Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) programs on behalf of the state’s Department of Transitional Assistance are urging state lawmakers to ensure funding for the program in the Fiscal 2020 budget.

A letter was sent to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka and Ways and Means Chairs Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and Sen. Michael Rodrigues asking that they include specific language in the budget’s Employment Services Program line item (4401-1000) to ensure a funding floor for CIES. The language would read: “provided further, that the department shall spend not less than the amount spent in fiscal year 2019 for the young parents program and the competitive integrated employment services program.”

CIES is the state’s only welfare-to-work program, helping individuals receiving assistance transition off welfare.

Over the last two completed fiscal years – FY ’17 and FY ’18 – the CIES program helped nearly 3,000 people find and secure jobs. And nearly 90 percent of those individuals still had jobs 90 days later.

According to the letter, “They were able to leave the welfare rolls and becoming taxpaying residents of Massachusetts due in large part to the CIES program.”

Member organizations that signed on to the letter are American Training, Inc.; Community Work Services; LifeStream; Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries; New England Business Association; Road to Responsibility; SMOC; Triangle, Inc.; Viability; and WORK Inc.

You can read a copy of the letter here. If you have questions about CIES and/or the FY ’20 budget, email Bill Yelenak at bill@providers.org or call him at 617.428.3637 x122.

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