Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan M. Collins visited Western Mass to learn about the economic challenges and opportunities present in the area.
Springfield WORKS and our partners were able to discuss the Cliff Effect, our Pilot Program & the positive impacts we can have on the Commonwealth.
Springfield WORKS is a workforce development effort that began through the Boston Fed’s Working Cities Challenge, part of the Working Places initiative. The effort supports local collaboration to strengthen the economies of New England’s rural towns, regions, and smaller cities.
Addressing the cliff effect is one of the Springfield team’s key focuses, said initiative director Anne Kandilis. The cliff effect occurs when a small wage increase pushes a household slightly above the maximum income limits of a public benefit they depend on. That can cause them to lose the benefit and significantly hurt their financial stability, Kandilis said.
“About 25% of families in the U.S. experience the cliff effect,” she said. “In (Massachusetts) Gateway Cities, it’s about one out of three families.”
The team helped create new state legislation that put $1 million toward a pilot program focused on helping 100 families across Massachusetts overcome the cliff effect.
Read the Full Article Here.