In the second quarter of 2018, TFT launched its second outreach, the Job Fare program. This program provides a 31-day WRTA bus pass to an individual starting a new job. Since TFT is targeting persons with no income or low income, and money from a first paycheck may be as much as three weeks away, this bus pass addresses the burden of a newly-employed worker who otherwise would need to walk to his or her new job. The 31-day pass is provided in a kit with a voucher for a haircut at a Rob Roy Hair Salon and information about free services in Worcester which will save the new employee money. Job Fare kits are available through TFT’s network of Partner Charities.
To obtain a Job Fare kit, the potential recipient must fill out a two-page form that provides TFT with information about the individual and the new job. What follows is a summary of data from 20 of these forms.
Recipients of the TFT Job Fare kit have been unemployed an average of 1.5 years, some as little as two weeks and some as many as four years. They are all single, and roughly half are single parents with one to five children. One third are male and two thirds are female. 42% live in homeless shelters. Without the TFT Job Fare Kit 60% of recipients would have had to walk an average of 50 to 60 minutes to get to work, and then the same amount of time to return to their home base, a total of about two hours. Their average work week is 32 hours per week. One quarter took temporary jobs, the other three quarters took permanent jobs. One third, more women than men, are choosing second or third shift jobs because they pay more than the same first shift jobs.
TFT is pleased that the Job Fare program is making a big difference in the lives of these individuals as they start new jobs.