For immediate release: April 18, 2022

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is partnering with community organizations this year to launch Career Ladder Identifier and Financial Forecaster (CLIFF) Dashboards to help people overcome benefits cliffs.

"The Atlanta Fed is excited about these collaborations, which provide 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.

Better understanding benefit cliffs, a term describing a barrier for low-income families trying to improve their economic status, can increase the workforce participation rate by helping residents make informed decisions to enter or reenter the workforce and achieve self-sufficiency. This fits into the Atlanta Fed's mission to make the economy work for everyone.

The Atlanta Fed's Benefits Cliffs first-quarter partnerships are:

Aloha United Way – The ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Initiative focuses on creating greater financial stability and savings among ALICE Households in Hawai'i. Community-based organizations, legislators, and ALICE Fund grant recipients have access to the dashboard and tool and are encouraged to evaluate programs and services for maximum impact. ALICE Households experience numerous barriers to economic mobility and this tool will help guide movement more effectively. To learn more about the CLIFF tool, please visit link.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership – The Employ Buffalo Niagara Benefits Cliff Calculator is an online tool that helps both employers and workers in western New York determine their benefits cliffs and assists in understanding which in-demand career pathways may allow them to overcome a potential loss of public assistance based on income, region, occupation, and family dynamics. It also advises workers on which industries have the most lucrative career trajectories so they can make informed decisions about training and experience in their current field or switching career paths. For more information on the benefits cliff calculator, please visit link.
City of Fayetteville, Arkansas – The CLIFF Dashboard and Planner were created to help the City of Fayetteville complete its next Economic Vitality Master Plan, provide an accessible-for-all tool for career pathway mapping, and help show the positive economic impacts of investing in workforce development. This CLIFF Dashboard is unique because it merges a benefits cliffs calculator with a career pathway planner. To learn more about the CLIFF tool, please visit link.

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.