Expanding EITC to Help Maine’s Young WorkersWritten by Western Maine CA$H | Published on August 9, 2019
Balancing Work and School While Sharing A Car
This year included many firsts for 19-year-old Dena Greiner. She started Adult Education Classes, a full-time job, and just filed her taxes for the first time. Although Dena didn’t graduate from high school because it wasn’t for her, she’s on track to provide for herself. By receiving her diploma from the Adult Ed program, she will qualify for a better paying job. Thus, she’ll be able to reach her goal of owning her own car and apartment much quicker.
Dena currently works full time at a manufacturing plant just a couple of miles from her home in Presque Isle. She holds two positions at the company: manufacturing and janitorial. She does whatever they need, and most days, finds out when she arrives at work. Her days are very busy: she works the 7:30 am – 3:00 pm shift and then goes to her classes from 6 – 9. Although she likes the company and her work, it’s only temporary until she finds a better paying job.
Dena lives with her mom and together they are able to afford their apartment and car. Since they share a car, it’s often difficult for her to get to and from work. If her mom is working, she attempts to catch rides with coworkers since there is no public transportation. She tries to work a different shift than her mom, so they can share the car, but that limits her choice of jobs. If she had her own vehicle, she’d be able to apply for other more advantageous jobs. In addition, dependable transportation would allow her to reliably arrive at work on time.
Tax Refund Helps Dena Reach Her Goals
With the help of CA$H Maine, Dena received just over $1,000 from her tax refund. Her refund allowed her to set aside money for a car, helping her reach her goal of becoming more independent. An expansion in the EITC for young workers, passed in June, 2019, would help her reach her goals sooner with more money for the car purchase and savings towards her own apartment.