HIRED was originally established in 1968 to help ex-offenders find employment and avoid returning to criminal behaviors. In 1976, the organization’s mission was expanded to include assisting a wide range of job seekers to become qualified for and obtain employment.
Through the late 1970s and 1980s, there were a number of state and federal programs to stimulate employment, and HIRED played an active part in delivering services under many of these programs.
- The Comprehensive Employment and Training Assistance program (CETA), which operated from 1973 to1982 as a federal program designed to assist economically disadvantaged, unemployed or underemployed persons. CETA provided block grants to state and local governments to support public and private job training and such youth programs as the Job Corps and Summer Youth Employment. These block grant funds were then used to contract with HIRED and other organizations to design and deliver appropriate programs.
- The Jobs Training Partnership Act (JTPA), a federal program launched in 1982 as the successor to CETA. Sharing many of the goals of the CETA program, the JTPA provided support for a wide range of job-training programs.
- The Minnesota Emergency Employment Development program (MEED), was a state-funded program designed to reduce unemployment through six-month wage subsidies for targeted new employees in both the public and private sectors. As compared to other wage subsidy programs, MEED was distinguished by the high level of subsidy, its requirements for job retention, a focus on job creation and economic development, and its targeting of small business employers.
- STRIDE, an Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) reduction program, operated in the mid-1990s to support job-skill development among welfare recipients.
- The Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which superseded JTPA in 1998, is a current program offering a comprehensive range of workforce development activities throughout the state, working primarily through local, community-based organizations such as HIRED. Workforce development activities are provided in local communities to benefit job seekers, laid-off workers, youth, incumbent workers, new entrants to the workforce, veterans, persons with disabilities and employers. The purpose of these activities is to promote an increase in the employment, job retention, earnings and occupational skills of participants. This, in turn, improves the quality of the workforce, reduces welfare dependency, and improves the productivity and competitiveness of the nation.
- The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), is a current state program first implemented in Ramsey County in 1996 as part of a state welfare reform initiative. MFIP is designed as a “work first” program which offers welfare recipients financial incentives for work and requires them, after they have been on welfare for one year, to participate in job-search activities to facilitate their quick entry into the workforce. HIRED operates several programs targeted to MFIP recipients.
Through these state and federal programs - and the support of private funders - HIRED currently operates a variety of employment and training programs to serve people from all walks of life: youth and adults, low-skilled and highly-skilled dislocated workers, urban and suburban workers.
HIRED is also a partner of the Minnesota WorkForce Center System, with full-service offices in seven WorkForce Centers located throughout the Twin Cities area.