Early Data from the Job Fare Kit Recipients

3Q 2018: 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.
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  • Counter to what we reported in our previous newsletter, the intensive lobbying efforts by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA), its union and riders did persuade the Massachusetts legislature to add an additional $8 million to the state's budget to fund all the Regional Transit Authorities. The WRTA Advisory Board has approved a balanced budget for its fiscal year 2019, which began 7/1/2018. In the end, no routes were eliminated and no fares were increased.
  • This quarter, TFT received two important grants. A $1,000 grant was received from the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust of Bedford NH. A $5,482 grant was received from a trio of greater Worcester health care organizations: UMass Memorial Health Care, Reliant Medical Group, and Shields Health Care Group.
  • TFT is behind in its 2018 fund raising! As three quarters of the year have passed, TFT has raised just under two thirds of its annual goal!
  • TFT has added the Worcester Connections Family Resource Center (FRC) of You, Inc. as our latest Partner Charity. The FRC is involved in a multitude of free family-support activities. They also sponsor advocacy, e.g., they lead the Transportation Advocacy Coalition.
  • The TFT Job Fare program is starting up more slowly than expected. Nevertheless, we still expect the demand for the Job Fare kits to increase significantly from now to the end of the year.

Early Data from the Job Fare Kit Recipients

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. 

Stats from the March 2015 launch of Tasks for Transit through September 2018

Partner Charities
Bus Passes Dispensed
$ 17834
Spent on Bus Fares

More to explore

Eight Perspectives on Homelessness in Worcester

1Q 2020: According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) a person is homeless if they are staying/sleeping in a shelter or in a place not fit for human habitation (i.e., there are sheltered homeless and there are unsheltered homeless).

Tasks for Transit Accomplishments for 2019

4Q 2019: TFT’s plan for 2019 was to continue its steady growth by adding four Partner Charities to its network. As has been done for the previous two years, one more was added during each quarter of 2019. TFT ended 2019 with 30 Partner Charities.

The Status of the Fare Free WRTA Idea

3Q 2019: In April 2019, the Greater Worcester Research Bureau published a report analyzing the possibility of the WRTA running a “fare free” bus system. Other cities, e.g., Portland, Oregon, are doing this or have done it in the past. Clearly, a fare-free WRTA would be a great benefit for those living in poverty.

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