2021 Annual Business Report:
Building Connections

Cash Assistance

The Minnesota Family Investment Program, Diversionary Work Program, and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Employment and Training Program are three public assistance programs that share a common goal of helping families achieve wellness and economic stability and exit cash assistance. 

Employment counselors support individuals and families who receive food and cash assistance as they work to achieve their career goals. Cash assistance is available for eligible pregnant women, single individuals without children and families who are low-income with minor children. In most cases, eligible residents receiving temporary cash assistance must engage in work and/or educational activities. 

Minnesota Family Investment Program

Workforce Solutions’ Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) provides temporary assistance to families who are low-income with one or more children under age 19, and to women who are pregnant. MFIP assistance includes job counseling, cash, food and child care assistance. The longest period most parents with minor children can receive cash help is a total of 60 months; most families are off assistance within two years. The program helps families by expecting, supporting and rewarding work.
To achieve effectiveness and excellence, Workforce Solutions and Ramsey County Financial Assistance Services, in partnership with others, link employment services, support services, and financial assistance services into an integrated service delivery system. Ramsey County MFIP families are served through a network of employment service providers with locations in Saint Paul and suburban Ramsey County.
Program year: Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
2021 program budget: $12,526,808
MFIP Contracted Vendor Partner Agencies:

Diversionary Work Program

The primary goal of the Diversionary Work Program (DWP) is to divert families from going into the cash assistance program by providing job search support for up to four months. Quick access to work-focused services enables people to capitalize on their strengths and to identify and address barriers to work. 
DWP counselors coordinate and monitor participants’ job search efforts through short-term case management, regular contact, access to support services, and referrals to on-site activities such as job skills workshops, job clubs and resource center use. Counselors also assist individuals in identifying and addressing employment barriers. Families can participate in the program for four consecutive months. This short-term program does not count towards the Minnesota Family Investment Program’s (MFIP) 60-month time limit. 

* The DWP was suspended, by the state, in March 2020 due to COVID-19. The funding was reallocated to MFIP and was restarted on September 1, 2021. Since being restarted, 57% of DWP participants have been diverted from moving onto MFIP services.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Employment and Training Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps people purchase the food needed for sound nutrition and well-balanced meals. The SNAP Employment & Training Program (SNAP E&T) helps Ramsey County residents who are low-income and receiving SNAP gain the essential skills needed to secure and retain employment and economic stability.  
Workforce Solutions is one of several state-funded local providers of SNAP E&T services. In 2021, Workforce Solutions’ employment guidance counselors supported 49 SNAP E&T participants with the following employment and training services:
  • Create an action plan to obtain a new job.
  • Explore careers that fit skills and interests.
  • Create a professional resume and gain interview skills.
  • Attend training and on-site job search workshops.
  • Gain access to a helpful resource center with computers.
  • Job club, job leads and referrals.
  • Attend on-site hiring events.
  • Gain skills to look for and gain employment.
Program year: Oct. 1, 2021 – Sept. 30, 2022
2021 program budget: $287,788

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Cohort

In November 2021, Ramsey County offered free Nursing Assistant training for Ramsey County residents 18 years and older. Participants worked through 43 hours of self-paced, online coursework including 35 skills lab hours and finished the course by taking the State of Minnesota’s Nurse Aide Exam. 
Ramsey County Workforce program participant and CNA graduate, Archeiion Miles shared her experience at the January Ramsey County Board of Commissioners meeting. Archeiion stated that she “loved everything about the program” and described her experience as “super awesome”. 
"The teachers were great," she shared. "Everything was simple and easy and I was learning new things every time I went to my skills lab. All of the students who participated with me were motivated and friendly. The whole program was a very positive experience and environment and I’d recommend this program to anyone. This program was a blessing in disguise, and I'm grateful to even get the opportunity to participate and enjoy this experience. Knowing that these classes are really expensive, I'm beyond grateful for the funding and for everyone who believed in me enough to help finance my education.” 
When asked about one thing she learned during her CNA cohort experience, Archeiion responded with “I learned that dementia is a very common long-term disease that many elderly suffer with. It can be terrifying and deadly and that motivated me to want to be the best nursing aid that I can be for their sake.”
Learn more about the programs and services offered by Workforce Solutions.