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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release April 9, 1998
                  OVER 3,600 FORMER WELFARE RECIPIENTS

                Also Launches Government-wide Initiative 
                     to Urge Federal Contractors to
                Participate in Welfare-to-Work Programs

Washington, DC -- One year into the effort, Vice President Gore announced today that the federal government has already hired over 3,600 former welfare recipients, putting the Administration ahead of schedule in meeting President Clinton's goal of hiring 10,000 former welfare recipients by the year 2000.

Speaking at the Old Executive Office Building, the Vice President also launched the "Federal Welfare-to-Work Contractor Hiring Initiative," a government-wide initiative to urge government contractors and grantees in the private sector to join in the effort to hire former welfare recipients.

"With over 3,600 former welfare recipients now hired, we are less than one-third of the way toward our deadline and more than one-third of the way toward our goal," the Vice President said. "Now, I am asking every federal agency to encourage their contractors and suppliers to recruit, mentor and train welfare recipients, and help us speed our efforts to move people from welfare to work."

Last year, President Clinton asked the Vice President to head the government's effort to hire 10,000 welfare recipients. The "Federal Welfare-to-Work Hiring Progress" report shows that federal agencies are already close to meeting the President's goal of hiring 40% of the 10,000 former welfare workers this year -- with six months left in the calender year.

Joining the Vice President in highlighting the federal government's efforts to hire former welfare recipients were Alexis Herman, Secretary of Labor, Mort Downey, Deputy Secretary of Transportation, and Janice LaChance, Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

The effort to encourage government contractors to hire former welfare recipients is being led by Gerald Greenwald, CEO of United Airlines, and chairman of the board of the Welfare-to-Work (W-2-W) Partnership. James Sines, the Vice President and Coordinator of W-2-W Partnership program, took the lead in encouraging the 130 corporate attendees at today's event to hire former welfare workers. The Welfare-to-Work (W-2-W) Partnership, is a private, non-profit organization that formed after the passage of the 1996 welfare reform bill.