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Office Of The Vice President

For Immediate Release October 8, 1997


Vice President Says Well On Way To Meeting Goal After First Six Months Of Initiative

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore today (10/8) announced that the federal government has hired nearly 2,000 welfare recipients, achieving in six months nearly 20 percent of the President's goal of hiring 10,000 people by the year 2000. The Vice President is heading the effort to ensure that the federal government -- as the nation's largest employer -- does its fair share to help those on welfare go to work.

"In less than six months, the federal government has moved nearly 2,000 welfare recipients off the welfare rolls, and into productive jobs in our government," the Vice President said. "That means that nearly 2,000 Americans have been given a new chance at success."

"The federal government is leading the way in giving welfare recipients the chance to rebuild their lives. And all across this nation, those welfare recipients are responding. In the process, we also are setting a powerful example for the private sector," the Vice President said.

Earlier today, the President released another piece of evidence showing that welfare reform is working, announcing that welfare caseloads have declined another 250,000, bringing the total reduction to more than 3.6 million since he became President, a drop of 26 percent.

In April, the President asked the Vice President to head the federal welfare to work effort. The Vice President also heads the Welfare to Work Coalition to Sustain Success -- a partnership of civic and religious groups dedicated to getting people off welfare and into jobs and on the road to success.

Federal agencies since have hired 1,901 welfare recipients at locations all around the country. New hires reported through September 22 show several agencies -- including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the General Services Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Information Agency -- have hired more than 30 percent of their goal to date. The Executive Office of the President has attained 100 percent of its goal, hiring six workers from the welfare rolls.

The federal hiring initiative is a key part of an Administration-wide effort to create jobs to move people from welfare to work. These efforts include fighting for and winning an additional $3 billion for welfare to work in the Balanced Budget Act, mobilizing the business community to hire welfare recipients, and working with civic, religious and non-profit groups to mentor families leaving welfare for work.

The President and the Vice President have made welfare reform a top priority of this Administration. During his first four years in office, the President granted federal waivers to 43 States to require work, time-limit assistance, make work pay, improve child support enforcement, and encourage parental responsibility. In August 1996, the President signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), a comprehensive bipartisan welfare reform bill that establishes the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

The Vice President was joined at today's event by Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, United States Information Agency Director Joseph Duffy, Social Security Administrator Ken Apfel, Small Business Administrator Aida Alvarez, General Services Administrator Dave Barram, and former welfare recipient Ms. Darlett Salley.