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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 29, 1997

New Coalition Will Help Welfare Recipients Keep the Jobs They Find

Taking the next major step in Administration efforts to move people from welfare to work, Vice President Gore announced today (5/29) the creation of a Welfare-to-Work Coalition to Sustain Success that will help welfare recipients keep the jobs they find.

The coalition will address one of the major problems facing welfare recipients -- the ability to keep the jobs they get. Studies have shown that large numbers of welfare recipients lose the jobs they get within 12 to 16 months.

"Through our work over the last four years, we've learned that the transition from welfare to work is more complicated and difficult than some had thought," the Vice President said. "Indeed, it involves two distinct problems. First, the challenge of helping welfare recipients find jobs. The second challenge is one that hasn't gotten much attention, but it's just as critical. That challenge is making sure that they have the skills and support they need to keep those jobs."

Working with federal and state offices, private organizations, and businesses, members of the Welfare-to-Work Coalition to Sustain Success will identify available resources and provide the support that new workers need most to retain jobs -- mentoring, advice, and other support.

The coalition will tailor available resources to state and community needs, building on the strengths of its volunteer member organizations. The Vice President will convene the coalition about every three months to showcase successful mentoring or training programs. At today's announcement, the Vice President showcased six programs to over 200 attendees and 3,000 locations hooked up by satellite.

Today's panelists discussed ways to increase job retention in the welfare population with the Vice President. They were John Sharp, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Family Pathfinders, Austin, TX; Reverend Don Roberts, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries, Manasota and Sarasota, FL; Peter Cove, Founder, America Works, New York, NY; Rachel Hubka, President and CEO, Rachel's Bus Company, Chicago, IL; Rob Carmona, Executive Director, East Harlem Employment Services/STRIVE, New York, NY; Paul Barnes, Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources, Social Security Administration, Baltimore, MD; Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala; and Labor Secretary Alexis Herman.

The 18 charter members of the Welfare-to-Work Coalition to Sustain Success are:

Alpha Kappa Alpha
Baptist Joint Committee
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Daughters of Isis
General Federation of Women's Clubs
Goodwill Industries
Lions Club International
National Civic League
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Negro Women
National Urban Coalition
Optimist International
The Salvation Army
Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission United Way
Women's Missionary Union