THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Friday, November 20, 1998
THE CLINTON/GORE ADMINISTRATION:
MOVING PEOPLE FROM WELFARE TO WORK
I congratulate these communities for helping welfare recipients across this country move off welfare and into good jobs -- this is civic commitment at its best.
Vice President Al Gore
November 20, 1998
Today, at a town hall meeting of faith-based and non-profit groups, employers, and individuals who have moved from welfare to work, Vice President Al Gore will announce the awarding of $273 million for 75 federal Welfare-to-Work Competitive grants to fund innovative local welfare to work projects. Joined by Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, the Vice President will discuss the Administration's continuing efforts to reduce the welfare rolls and restore the basic values of work, family, and personal responsibility.
Building On The Success Of Welfare-To-Work. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made moving people from welfare to work one of their top domestic priorities. Today, the Vice President will announce that $273 million for 75 federal Welfare-to-Work Competitive grants will go to communities in 44 states, with 61 percent for urban areas, 15 percent for rural areas, and 24 percent for areas that include both urban and rural areas. These grants will allow projects -- run by local governments as well as business, labor, educational, and other groups -- to address the need for jobs, child care, transportation, basic skills, and English proficiency as well as substance abuse and health issues that some individuals face as they move from welfare to work. Some of these grants will also increase the employment of fathers whose children are on welfare so they can better support their children. These grants come from $3 billion in Welfare-to-Work funds that the President fought for and secured in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act.
Leading The Effort To Move People Off Welfare Rolls And Onto Pay Rolls. Since the President signed the Welfare Reform law in 1996, welfare caseloads have fallen dramatically, and are now at their lowest level in 29 years, and an increasing number of welfare recipients are going to work. Since the passage of this legislation:
- The Vice President's Welfare-to-Work Coalition to Sustain Success -- meeting today for the sixth time --has mobilized faith-based, service, and civic groups to help former welfare recipients succeed in the workplace;
- The Administration has encouraged the business community to hire from the welfare rolls, launching the Welfare-to-Work Partnership, which now has more than 7,000 business members. In 1997, 3,200 of these businesses hired 135,000 welfare recipients and many say these new workers retain their jobs longer, helping to reduce turnover and increase productivity;
- Under the leadership of the Vice President, the federal government has hired more than 8,000 former welfare recipients, well on the way to the 10,000 hires the President committed the government to by the year 2000;
- The President has expanded and extended tax credits for employers who hire long-term welfare recipients and other disadvantaged individuals;
- The President and Vice President secured funding in this year's budget for 50,000 new welfare-to-work housing vouchers to help families who need housing in order to get or keep a job;
- The Administration successfully fought for funding for transportation grants to local communities to expand transportation options for families moving from welfare to work and other low income workers.