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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 8, 1997

March 8, 1997


SUBJECT: Government Employment for Welfare Recipients

Since I signed the historic welfare reform law, I have urged businesses, nonprofit organizations, and religious groups across the Nation to help make its promise of opportunity real by offering jobs to welfare recipients. We are making great progress, but there is more to do. And today, I take action to ensure that the Federal Government, as the Nation's largest employer, contributes to the greatest extent possible to this national effort.

I therefore direct each of you, as head of an agency or department, to use all available hiring authorities, consistent with statute and prior executive memoranda, to hire people off the welfare rolls into available job positions in the Government.

In particular, I direct you to expand the use of the WorkerTrainee Program and other excepted service hiring authorities. The Worker-Trainee Program allows agencies to quickly and easily hire entry-level persons for up to 3 years, with the ability to convert the appointment to career status if the employee has performed satisfactorily. Though recently underutilized, the program allows agencies to bypass complex Federal personnel hiring rules and procedures to bring people into the junior grades of the work force.

I further direct you, in recognition of the different characteristics of the various agencies' work forces, to prepare an individualized plan for hiring welfare recipients and to submit that plan to me within 30 days. This plan should have three principal components:

I expect each agency head to report to me about his or her plan at a special cabinet meeting called for that purpose. Following this meeting, I also expect monthly reports on implementation.

To ensure deep and continuing involvement in this issue by the White House, I ask the Vice President to oversee this effort. Based on his expertise in Federal workplace issues, he will assist all agencies in carrying out their commitments.

Finally, I direct appropriate agencies to take three steps that will help bring welfare recipients into the Federal work force while assisting all other low-income Federal employees.


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