May 9, 2014
Food assistance, employment and training
When the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reinstated the Food Assistance Employment and Training program for able-bodied adults without dependents, we had one goal: to provide both food assistance and job training to adults in need. Seven months later, I’m pleased to say that ODJFS and our county partners are doing exactly that.
Around Ohio, approximately 70,000 Ohioans are working or participating in job training while also receiving food assistance. Over time, it is our hope that the skills learned and opportunities realized will help them secure permanent employment and move out of poverty.
The program is a success thanks to the hard work of all 88 county departments of job and family services, and I want to commend the Greene County Department of Job and Family Services for the hard work of its staff and their commitment to those we serve.
Greene County schedules weekly employment and training assessments. Individuals who are struggling to meet the requirement are assigned job readiness activities, such as job search classes and instruction on registering at OhioMeansJobs.com. They also are assigned to the county’s Work Experience Program.
Best of all, most people who actively engage with the program are offered a job within a couple of months.
Thanks to the hard work of Director Beth Rubin and her staff, hundreds of Greene County residents are receiving job training and work experience along with their food assistance benefit.
The Food Assistance Employment and Training program was first introduced in the mid-1990s as a result of federal welfare reform. Individuals without dependent children who are between the ages of 18 and 50 and are both physically and mentally fit for work are required to work, volunteer, attend school, enroll in job training or complete another eligible activity.
Nearly 20 years after it was introduced, the program still has great potential to help adults with both their immediate needs and their long-term goals. By working with stakeholders and focusing on customer needs, Greene County has implemented an employment and training program that will truly benefit residents of the county.
— Cynthia C. Dungey, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director
Recognizing older Americans
Older adults have made countless contributions and sacrifices to ensure a better life for future generations. Since 1963, communities have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. This celebration recognizes older Americans for their contributions and demonstrates our nation’s commitment to helping them stay healthy and active.
This year’s theme for Older Americans Month is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” The theme focuses on safety and injury prevention to encourage older adults to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible.
Unintentional injuries to this population result in at least 6 million medically-treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year. During Older Americans Month, we encourage older adults, and their caregivers, to learn about the variety of ways to avoid injuries.
Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley provides services, support, and resources to older adults year-round. During Older Americans Month, the agency offers specialized information and services around the important topic of injury prevention. This information will help older adults take control of their safety and live longer, healthier lives.
Throughout the month of May, Easter Seals Adult Day Services in Beavercreek (a service of Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley) will be conducting activities and providing tips on how to avoid the leading causes of injury. I encourage seniors and their caregivers to learn more during Older Americans Month at www.gesmv.org.
— Cheryl Wheeler, Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley Director-Senior Services