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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release June 26, 1998
                       IN WELFARE TO WORK GRANTS

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that Texas will receive $76 million in federal Welfare-to-Work grants to help the hardest-to-employ welfare recipients get the skills, work experience, and resources they need to find and keep good jobs.

"Across Texas, and across the nation, welfare recipients are moving into the workforce and rebuilding their lives," Vice President Gore said. "For America to continue to prosper, as many Americans as possible must contribute in a productive way and learn the profound responsibilities of work and independence."

At a town hall discussion on the role of service and faith-based organizations in providing support for people moving from welfare to work, the Vice President announced that Texas will get the largest state formula grant to be approved so far this year. The grant is part of a total $2.2 billion for the 50 states over two years that will fund local programs to help long-term welfare recipients enter the world of work.

"The goal is not just to get a job, but to keep a job," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, who participated in the town hall discussion, along with Congressman Ciro Rodriquez, San Antonio Mayor Howard Peak, and community leaders. "This grant will help long-term welfare recipients become the Lone Star State's newest workers by coordinating all available services, such as transportation, housing, child care, and other support activities so that they can turn these jobs into careers and become self-sufficient."

The Texas Workforce Commission will direct 85 percent of the state grant directly to local programs that will determine the mix of basic services, employment activities, and support efforts to meet the needs of both the welfare recipients and the local labor market. The funds will make possible such services as:

skills training, job placement help, and on-the-job training;

community service jobs and other work experience opportunities;

     help for absentee fathers to get jobs so they can contribute
     child support; and

     help for job-seekers, such as child care, transportation,
     substance abuse and mental health care, and clothing allowances.

     The Governor's Office and the Workforce Commission will divide the

remaining 15 percent between various programs to help long-term recipients become self-sufficient, such as: temporary transportation help, the identification and location of non-custodial parents, and help for refugees.

The Vice President has led federal efforts to help former welfare recipients who are moving to work to succeed in those jobs. The Welfare-to-Work Coalition to Sustain Success -- which includes private companies, community groups, and government partners, and which the Vice President heads up -- provides the support services that new workers need most to retain their jobs, such as mentoring, advice, and support.