After a slow start, a $66 million state effort to help welfare recipients find jobs and move off public assistance is picking up steam, according to a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch.
Nearly 2,400 Ohioans found jobs through the Ohio Works Incentive Program during its first year, which ended on June 30. More than 90 percent of the placements were made in the past six months.
Roughly 19,700 adults who receive cash assistance can participate in the program. ...
The board serving Athens, Meigs and Perry counties found jobs for every one of its 156 program participants despite having some of the highest unemployment rates in Ohio. Most are employed in low-wage fast food and retail jobs, many of them part time.
Jack Frech, director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, attributed the high placement rate on the decision to give all of its $272,500 in bonus money to the workers, providing further incentive to stay on the job.
“They need the money more than we do. They use it to keep a car on the road and feed their families, and we’ve found it to be a useful incentive,” Frech said.