For immediate release: June 30, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has collaborated with Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to incorporate the Career Ladder Identifier and Financial Forecaster (CLIFF) tool into the college’s website. The tool will help students make informed career decisions to overcome "benefits cliffs," a term that describes a barrier for low-income families trying to improve their economic status. The partnership’s goal is to foster economic mobility by assisting students in competing for higher-paying jobs while planning for adjustments with the possible loss of public benefits and success after a college education.

"As we look to make sure this economy works for everyone, it is important to address benefits cliffs in a way that ensures the incentives are not sending the wrong signal to people, but rather are pushing and driving individuals to invest in themselves and become more resilient," said Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. "This partnership with Broward College will equip students with information about the possible loss of public benefits as they use their college education to move into higher-paying jobs."

Using the tool will create a greater understanding of the relationship between educational attainment, income, and public benefits. The CLIFF will help educational institutions such as Broward College and employers support individuals to economic sufficiency, increase general awareness of benefit cliffs, and help career pathways.

The CLIFF will be available to case managers in the six Broward UPOff-site link zip codes, allowing users to create individually customized career paths while taking benefits, taxes, and expenses into account. Broward UP reflects Broward College’s work in providing workforce education to areas with disproportionately high unemployment and low education attainment.

"Our partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is vital to understanding and ameliorating barriers to economic mobility relating to the intersection of workforce education and public benefits," said Broward College president Gregory Adam Haile, JD. "Our learnings will be leveraged to support residents and businesses of Broward County, as well communities throughout the country."

Broward College is the first higher education institution in Florida to utilize CLIFF. The college and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will use research findings to help other higher education institutions, employers, and policymakers understand how benefits cliffs impede career advancement and help identify solutions.

In January 2021, Haile was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Board of Directors. The continued partnership between both institutions allows them to work toward their shared goal of seeking equitable opportunities for everyone.

To learn more about the CLIFF tool, visit broward.eduOff-site link.