BRIDGING THE GAP TO THE FIRST PAYCHECK

Maryland 2030 will provide a loan of $2,000 to each participant to cover any expenses. Upon completion of the first stage of skills development, this loan will be forgiven.

We all know there are costs to starting a new business, but many people forget the costs of starting a new job. You need reliable child care, transportation, proper attire, and any number of various and sundry expenses that you must pay for before you get your first paycheck. These expenses are a significant barrier to employment for many. Indeed, a 2019 survey of job seekers in the greater Baltimore Area found that the inability to afford basic things such as professional clothes or a bus ticket to work one of the most significant financial barriers to employment, with 40 percent of respondents listing it as a major or minor issue; only low-paying jobs and the cost of training and education were bigger financial roadblocks.

An experiment in Stockton, California that gave people unrestricted cash showed how this works in the real world. Those who were given cash were more than twice as likely to get a new job as those who were not given the cash, leading to 12 percent more of the sample population having a job than when the experiment started. You should not have to wait on your first paycheck to be able to get what you need to work.