THE WHITE HOUSE
Office Of The Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES $1.1 BILLION IN FUNDING FOR NEW WELFARE-TO-WORK GRANTS INITIATIVE
WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore today (9/3) announced the availability of more than $1.1 billion in special grants for states and localities to help prepare welfare recipients for work and to place them in jobs. He also lead a panel discussion with state and local volunteers who partner to help welfare recipients find and keep jobs, and met with former welfare recipients who are now employed.
These funds represent a dramatic commitment to help break the cycle of poverty in all 50 states, said Vice President Gore. It is $1.1 billion that can be used to create and subsidize jobs for those who had been on welfare; for on-the-job training and job placement; for support services to keep people in their jobs; and for additional child care and transportation. These funds help give states and local authorities the additional resources they need to help welfare recipients do what most want to do -- work.
One year ago, President Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which required people to move from welfare to work. The new Welfare-To-Work Grants represent the second step in this process. These grants were incorporated into the Budget Reconciliation Act of 1997, providing $3 billion for states and localities to create job opportunities for the hardest-to-employ recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Vice President announced the first of these grants today.
Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said, Secretary Shalala and I are moving full steam ahead on the serious business of changing welfare checks into paychecks. We are working hard to coordinate our systems and resources to work together as a team to help the hardest-to-employ welfare population gain a meaningful and secure foothold in the workforce.
An interagency task force with representation from the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services has been charged with implementing the new grants initiative. Private Industry Councils or Workforce Development Boards (business-led organizations that guide and oversee federally funded job training programs) will operate the new grants in coordination with local governments and other private entities such as community-based organizations and community actions agencies.
Funding for the initiative includes $1.5 billion for FY 1998 and $1.5 billion for FY 1999. A table showing estimated allocations to States for FY 1998 is attached.
The Vice President also announced in May the creation of a Welfare-To-Work Coalition to Sustain Success that helps welfare recipients keep the jobs they find. Today's meeting is the second time the coalition has met; the panel discussion lead by the Vice President focused on partnering with state and local governments to make sure welfare recipients receive the support they need to sustain success. The Vice President then met with a small group of former welfare recipients who are now employed.
We've got to show every single welfare recipient that we're not simply going to legislate them into the workforce. We're going to reach out to them, and mentor them, and help them learn the profound responsibilities of work and independence.
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U. S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Welfare-to-Work State Formula Grants
Estimates for FY 1998
District of Columbia 4,573,557
New Hampshire 2,761,875
New Jersey 23,239,053
New Mexico 9,770,091
New York 96,746,539
North Carolina 25,204,721
North Dakota 2,761,875
Rhode Island 4,348,845
South Carolina 12,148,469
South Dakota 2,761,875
West Virginia 9,786,496
Puerto Rico 34,403,919
Virgin Islands 550,548