For immediate release: September 24, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is partnering with United Ways of Texas and RAISE Texas to launch its Career Ladder Identifier and Financial Forecaster (CLIFF) Dashboard to help Texans make informed career decisions to overcome "benefits cliffs," a term used to describe a barrier for low-income families trying to improve their economic status.

"The Atlanta Fed is excited about this collaboration, which provides a tool that can inform decisions, reduce uncertainty, and ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate fully in our economy," said David Altig, executive vice president and director of research at the Atlanta Fed.

The CLIFF dashboard will be available starting September 24, 2021, to help individuals understand which in-demand career pathways will allow them to overcome a potential loss of public assistance based on their income, region, occupation, and family dynamics. This first-in-Texas tool will help hardworking Texans plan for income changes as they advance along rewarding career pathways. The tool can also provide incentives for individuals to invest in themselves.

"The Atlanta Fed's CLIFF Dashboard will help financial, career, and education coaches identify where benefits cliffs can occur and help clients anticipate and navigate those barriers to achieving their career and financial goals," said Elizabeth Colvin, executive director of RAISE Texas. "The tool will also inform our advocacy and policy work to address how benefits cliffs undermine Texans working to advance their careers and improve their financial well-being."

Better understanding benefit cliffs can increase the workforce participation rate by helping residents enter or reenter the workforce and achieve self-sufficiency. This fits into the mission of the Atlanta Fed to make the economy work for everyone.

"We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with the Atlanta Fed to bring this tool to Texas," said Adrianna Cuellar Rojas, president and CEO of United Ways of Texas. "With the integration of ALICE [Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed] data and the numerous ways this tool can be used to help communities in Texas, we know that it will be an essential resource for United Ways across the state to support individuals as they continue to focus on systemic solutions and lifting their communities."

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.