Since 2009, participants in EMPath’s flagship Career Family Opportunity (CFO) program have achieved phenomenal outcomes. The goal of CFO is for participants to accumulate $10,000 in matched savings and secure a career that leads to a family-sustaining wage. Every participant who stays with the program for at least one year sees big financial gains.

CFO has served 115 low-income women, who have collectively saved $194,418 through the program’s IDA savings initiative. Graduates earn an average annual salary of $45,411, with a 97% employment rate (up from 65% when first signing up). Graduates have seen significant educational success—74% of participants have earned college degrees; most are on track to attain career-sustaining jobs.

From a policy perspective, CFO pays off: as family income goes up, the need for public subsidies goes down. The combined savings to the public is over $8,000 a year per family, according to a “return on investment” study by researchers at Brandeis University.


$45,411 average annual salary of CFO graduates


$20,090 annual Federal Poverty Level for a family with one parent and two children


74% of CFO participants had a college degree upon graduation


97% of CFO participants were employed upon graduation