For immediate release: June 18, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, in partnership with Step Up Savannah, announces the launch of the Career Opportunity Dashboard for Economic Mobility (CODE), a tool designed to help individuals recognize in-demand career paths that will help them achieve self-sufficiency and overcome a potential loss of public assistance known as a "benefits cliff."

The tool will be integrated into Step Up Savannah's Workforce Development Program to assist program coordinators in providing a full range of services for participating individuals.

"CODE will help workforce development professionals gain insight into what an actual career pathway looks like as a worker enters and moves up in a profession," said David Altig, executive vice president and director of research at the Atlanta Fed. "It can help inform decisions, reduce uncertainty, and ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate fully in our economy."

A benefits cliff refers to instances where families receiving public benefits assistance are discouraged from pursuing opportunities to gain more income due to fear of losing assistance. The cliff effect can exclude families from receiving assistance because they fall outside of income levels for eligibility. CODE will help users understand how benefits cliffs intersect with career advancement and identify local in-demand career paths specific to the Savannah-Chatham County region.

"We are the first in our region to implement a benefits cliff calculator and merge it with a workforce development career path planner," said Step Up Savannah executive director Alicia M. Johnson. "This tool is a significant milestone for the working families in our area, and we are proud to, once again, be leading the way with innovative economic mobility solutions for the people in the southeast area."

To learn more about the CODE tool, visit stepupsavannah.orgOff-site link.