Matching Grant Program
Facilitating Economic Self-Sufficiency
The key to any newcomer’s success in the United States is his or her ability to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency. Through the Matching Grant program, USCRI provides services to equip refugees, asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders from Iraq and Afghanistan, and victims of trafficking with the tools they need to become economically self-sufficient within their first six months in the United States. Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), USCRI’s Matching Grant program prepares newcomers to the United States to seek and secure employment, connects Matching Grant clients with employers seeking a committed workforce, and offers ongoing job counseling to help clients improve their skills and increase earning power. Because it requires an investment of private resources to “match” its federal funds, the Matching Grant program secures the tangible support of local communities and employers that value the program’s contribution.
USCRI’s Matching Grant staff works in close collaboration with ORR, state and local agencies, employers, and approximately 28 partner agencies to provide the highest quality Matching Grant services and ensure that the program meets its goals. USCRI also provides training and technical assistance to a nationwide network of partner agencies.
Partner Agencies’ Participation
USCRI partner agencies implement the Matching Grant program in communities across the United States. Partner agencies work with Matching Grant clients for up to six months, providing services that assist them in achieving financial independence. In addition to helping clients to get access to transportation, affordable childcare, and other essential services, USCRI partner agencies pair newcomers with job opportunities that match their skills. They provide clients with the tools, information, English language classes, and vocational instruction they need to secure and retain employment in the United States.
Recipient communities’ participation is essential to the success of USCRI’s Matching Grant program. Volunteers play a significant role in helping newly arrived refugees integrate into their new community. Volunteers assist through tutoring, job readiness coaching, and many other valuable services. Matching Grant clients benefit from donations of household goods, computers, school supplies, and other items. Employers also play a vital role in a Matching Grant client’s success. Employers that employee newcomers reap multiple benefits, including dedicated employees with high retention rates, greater workplace diversity, and a more prosperous community.
Each year, USCRI assists over 5,000 clients through the Matching Grant program. Over 75 percent of the program’s participants become economically self-sufficient within the first six months of being resettled. Because this is an alternative to traditional forms of welfare, participants receive financial support, as well as specialized, linguistically appropriate case management and employment services, from the Matching Grant program, rather than from other mainstream programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The results of USCRI’s Matching Grant program can best be appreciated through the remarkable achievements of each individual client. In just one example, a Matching Grant client who had escaped persecution in her country arrived in the United States uncertain of how to apply her skills as an accomplished journalist. Thanks to the assistance of a USCRI partner agency, she was able to land a position in her field and is now an investigative reporter for a U.S. television station.
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