Welfare recipients could receive cash incentives

SusanBaileyEvans head


Logan County is starting to see its share of funding trickle in from a state program designed to motivate welfare recipients to find work.

The program is temporary and is scheduled to last through June 2015, Susan Bailey-Evans, director of Logan County Job and Family Services, said Thursday in a quarterly meeting with Logan County Commissioners Dustin Wickersham, John Bayliss and Tony Core.

The Ohio Works Incentive Program offers cash incentives to welfare recipients who find and keep a job for milestones of 90, 120 and 180 days, and is aimed at helping those people find a job.

The initiative also provides monetary bonuses to local job and family services departments whose clients are able to find and keep work for up to six months.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has gone through $66 million through six months and, according to a Jan. 24 report from the OJFS, has found work for 257 Ohioans — three-quarters of whom are earning less than $10 per hour. Of those employed, five kept a job for three months or more.

Mrs. Bailey-Evans said she’s been aware of the program, but has been slow to participate because she wanted to see if monetary incentives would, in fact, arrive from the state agency.

The director said Thursday $16,000 has been promised to Logan County JFS to be used as cash incentives for clients and to be put back into the local office. Of the $16,000 promised, the county has received $1,000 so far.

Specific cash incentives for Ohio Works First clients who find work might be $100 if the person keeps the job for 90 days, and $250 after four and six months.

The local department’s share of Ohio Works Incentive Program may be used to purchase a “smart board” for the workforce development office. That kind of technology would make it easier to bring clients and potential employers together for training and services, Mrs. Bailey-Evans said.