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Wednesday, September 11
5:30 am - 6:40 am

Conquer the “Benefits Cliff” and Support Working Families

Grand Ballroom A (Mez.)


Disjointed public programs may result in “benefits cliffs” that cause public assistance to fall abruptly as a family’s earnings increase slightly. This is especially concerning when families are still below a family-sustaining income. Understanding the myths and realities of benefits cliffs is important not only for state and local policy development, but also for state workforce agencies as they help workforce customers navigate the labor market. At this workshop, Massachusetts and Minnesota will share their cross-agency efforts to analyze and respond to cliff effects. An expert from the Federal Reserve will round out this "make work pay" discussion.

Moderator: Jennifer James, Undersecretary for Workforce Development, Commonwealth of Massachusetts


  • Jacqueline Buck, Director, Employer Services and Workforce Strategy, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Amy Kershaw, Associate Commissioner of Economic Assistance and Employment, Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Stuart ANdreason, Director of the Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta