HPOG 1.0—Noncash Incentives provided the option to receive noncash incentives for achieving program milestones in addition to the standard HPOG services. It was an enhancement of HPOG 1.0, which provided education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other individuals with low income for occupations in the health care field expected to pay well and experience labor shortages or be in high demand.
HPOG 1.0—Noncash Incentives grantees provided standard HPOG services and, to a subset of participants, the option to receive noncash incentives worth up to $1,000 per person. These participants were able to earn points for achieving program milestones, such as completing key courses or obtaining or retaining employment. They could then convert these points into tangible rewards, such as vouchers redeemable at the college bookstore, work-related equipment, or gift cards to support basic needs.
HPOG 1.0 refers to the first round of five-year HPOG grants that ACF awarded in 2010. HPOG 1.0 funded grantees that were required to (1) help participants develop skills relevant to the health care industry; (2) support career pathways that allowed participants to build a career by advancing through successively higher levels of education and training and to exit into employment at multiple possible points; (3) provide training leading to credentials recognized by employers and the health care industry; (4) provide supportive services, such as financial counseling or job retention services, to help participants overcome barriers to training participation and employment; and (5) provide training at accessible times and locations. The most common occupational training programs were six-to-eight week courses to become a nursing aide, orderly, or attendant; some registered nursing programs could last up to four years.
All HPOG 1.0 programs served TANF recipients and other individuals with low income, but programs set different financial, academic, and behavioral criteria to determine whether applicants were eligible. HPOG 1.0—Noncash Incentives was implemented in the following locations: Gateway Community and Technical College (Kentucky), Bergen Community College-Essex County College (New Jersey), Suffolk County Department of Labor (New York), Alamo Community College District and University Health System (Texas), and South Carolina Department of Social Services. The evaluation of HPOG 1.0—Noncash Incentives also examined the effectiveness of: HPOG 1.0—Facilitated Peer Support, HPOG 1.0—Emergency Assistance, and HPOG 1.0.