For immediate release: September 7, 2021
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Career Ladder Identifier and Financial Forecaster (CLIFF) tool, with assistance from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, will be implemented as part of employment services offered by Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas (MoKan Goodwill). The tool helps individuals make informed career decisions to overcome "benefits cliffs," a term that describes a barrier that can affect low-income families trying to improve their economic status.
"The Atlanta Fed's CLIFF Dashboard is a practical tool that provides real benefits to individuals receiving public assistance and the organizations serving them," said Teesha Miller, assistant vice president and community affairs officer for the Kansas City Fed. "MoKan Goodwill's use of this dashboard will help better serve its clients to identify where benefits cliffs can occur. Together, the Atlanta Fed and Kansas City Fed are committed to helping organizations adapt the tool to their community."
MoKan Goodwill's workforce efforts focus on job training, industry-recognized credentials, and skill enhancement that help individuals advance into higher-paying careers and understand how more income can establish a path toward self-sufficiency—the ability to support oneself and family without public assistance.
The CLIFF tool initially will be used by MoKan Goodwill employment specialists working with clients to enter benefits, taxes, and expenses into the CLIFF portal. The data creates a customized career path to review and compare financial tradeoffs with different career choices and ultimately, a better path to financial stability. The tool also will be used by the Goodwill Artemis Institute, an alternative educational environment that provides pathways to credentials and jobs working with future-state technology.
"Using the tool will create a greater understanding of the relationship between educational attainment, income, and public benefits. The CLIFF tool will help our agency support individuals to economic sufficiency, increase general awareness of benefits cliffs, and help career pathways, such as those we are creating at the Goodwill Artemis Institute," said Anita Davis, MoKan Goodwill chief mission officer.
MoKan Goodwill is the first nonprofit in Missouri to utilize the CLIFF tool. The organization and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City will use research findings to help other institutions, employers, and policy makers understand how benefits cliffs impede career advancement and help identify solutions.
The CLIFF tool is part of the Atlanta Fed's Advancing Careers for Low-Income Families initiative, which conducts research on benefits cliffs and develops tools to support community and state efforts to improve economic security for families and meet the talent needs of businesses for a healthy economy.