Workforce Laboratory

The Work First Foundation provides a creative, compassionate and effective approach towards finding work for hard-to-place individuals. We help a wide range of populations, including unskilled workers, the formerly incarcerated, veterans, youth aging out of foster care, SSI/SSDI beneficiaries, TANF and SNAP recipients, to identify meaningful job placement opportunities.

The Work First Foundation's Baltimore Ex-Offender program is a shining example of the effect employment makes for individuals. Compared to the national recidivism rate of nearly 70%, the foundation's participants achieved an astonishing rate of 20%.  

Washington, D.C. SNAP Employment and Training helps SNAP recipients retool their skills and reshape their applications to earn employment that helps reduce reliance on SNAP assistance.

The foundation helps fund the salary of welfare recipients in order for them to receive on-the-job training. The program proves to be effective as more than 83% of program participants are retained full-time by the participating employers.  

Baltimore Ex-Offender Program

The Work First Foundation finds work as an important step to combat recidivism. Far too often ex-offenders stigmatization disqualifies their consideration for employment, and the lack of income and employment structure can lead individuals back to a life of crime. To help put a stop to this cycle of crime, WFF launched a retraining program to help improve the likelihood of employment for ex-offenders in Baltimore, Maryland.

Recidivism Rate

The results were encouraging. By the end of the program WFF and their partners helped place nearly 700 ex-offenders and helped prepare a total of 1187. Our participants recidivism remained at a remarkably low 20% compared to the nations discouraging average of 67.8%. WFF hosted a seminar with keynote speaker Lt. Governor of Maryland, Boyd Rutherford to share the success of our re-entry program. WFF's Chairman of the Board, (Ret.) Capt. Pete "Bullfrog-13" Wikul also presented on the importance reentry plays for families. Below is a snapshot of the program's success, and seminar.


A speech given at the WFF Seminar on the Baltimore Ex-Offender Program




DC SNAP Employment and Training Program

The Work First Foundation Washington, DC food stamp program welcomes able bodied adults who face being out of work and out of eligible time on SNAP. To help families fight hunger, the Work First Foundation helps SNAP recipients with assistance in finding meaningful employment. In 2016 more than 125 adults signed up for job skill workshops. This includes an impressive range of older adults. 45participants who are over 50 joined to reshape their skills, resumes and attitudes for the modern job market. 

Through our partnership with America Works, SNAP recipients are offered the opportunity to join a job placement, education , or job skill training program. These activities are critically important for able bodied working adults, who are limited to three months of SNAP benefits. The foundation helps these adults find employment opportunities to transition to self-sufficency. 


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Wage Subsidies Get People Hired

In New York City the WFF operates a wage subsidy program with New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance that has successfully employed more than 300 people.  Currently on the third year of a 5 year contract, this program places individuals who are two times below the poverty level into temporary, subsidized employment.


This program, which is subcontracted with America on Demand, is innovative because unlike other employment programs it provides direct on the job training to clients, greatly increasing the chances of their being hired by companies.  83% of our candidates are retained full-time by the companies.  We are actively seeking the program’s expansion and continually trying advocate for wage subsidy as a model that should be adopted around the country.

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Accessible funds by thousands

The Work First Foundation empowers Businesses

The wage subsidy program helps companies hire employees by covering 60% of a new employees monthly salary. This extra relief provides the opportunity to 'try out' and try employees at low costs. These companies can also earn tax credits anywhere from $750 - $9,000 just by hiring one targeted employee. These tax credits are providing businesses the financial flexibility to hire more people off of welfare.


The Work First Foundation Connects Job Seekers with Employers

The foundation recognizes the challenges posed by the saturated online job application process. Too many applications go unanswered. In order to get people jobs, the foundation connects employers and job seekers with job fairs throughout the year. 

Job Fair Readiness

To give participants the best chance for success, they are invited to join a work shop focusing on resume writing, networking and interviewing. Trained professionals coach these crucial skills to make Work First job fairs worth while for employers and job-seekers.