Magazine article State Legislatures

Getting a Job and Keeping It

Magazine article State Legislatures

Getting a Job and Keeping It

Article excerpt

States are funding new programs and extending existing services to help recipients keep their jobs and earn higher wages.

THE PROBLEM

Welfare recipients sometimes can't keep jobs. Learning to cope with work and family obligations and time management in addition to developing new skills that will help enable them to retain their job and advance in the workplace, becomes too much for them.

THE NEW APPROACHES

Services for people after they land a job help them keep their jobs, avoid coming back on welfare and help them earn higher wages. States can use their welfare money to:

* Offer child care and transportation to low income working families.

* Give former recipients continued job training and access to additional education.

* Monitor the progress of newly employed recipients.

* Match former recipients with mentors who are able to offer advice and encouragement on handling work and family responsibilities.

* Provide basic adult education courses and English as a second language.

* Offer telephone hot lines to answer callers' questions about services available to them and contacts for support services, such as child care providers.

* Provide mediation between employers and employees.

* Provide counseling for coping with the work environment.

* Provide job search assistance for those who lose jobs.

THE INNOVATORS

Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin

THE COSTS

Washington appropriated $41.5 million from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families grant for its WorkFirst Post Employment Services Program. The program has reached more than 8,400 people who have left the welfare rolls and offered such services as education, training and child care. To date, there have been 2,250 referrals to community college, 1,500 referrals to better paying jobs, 600 referrals to welfare case managers, and 500 have had help writing resumes. …

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