Founded by former General Mills executive Steven Rothschild in the mid-90s and run for many years by Art Berman, Twin Cities RISE! (Website) is an innovative vocational training program focusing on rejuvenating former welfare recipients in to productive tax-paying citizens. Since inception, Mr. Rothschild, Mr. Berman and their financial team conceived and executed a very successful public-private pay for performance program in which the state would compensate RISE for 1) securing a new job for a former welfare recipient and 2) ensuring the new worker had a full-time job one year later.
Twin Cities RISE’s team developed a financial model to quantify the success of their job training and placement program in a) welfare payment savings, b) new state income tax revenue, and c) reduced recidivism rate. They used a seven year calculation period and calculated the net present value to the Minnesota state government from their program’s success. In 1995, their present value savings/newly employed worker was $30,000. Today, the value is $50-55,000. The State accepted the financial modeling and agreed to pay RISE! $9,000 per validated full-time job and another $9,000 on the first year work anniversary. Since the mid-90s, the State of Minnesota has paid RISE! approximately $5.0 million and received over $40 million in taxpayer value.
There are wonderful vocational training organizations throughout the United States including JobTrain (www.jobtrainworks.org) in Silicon Valley that have great training and placement results. State governments need to reward these organizations with similar pay for performance programs so everyone in need can find an interesting job at a good wage and feel the American Dream.
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