Workforce Investment Act:

Coordination of TANF Services Through One-Stops Has Increased Despite Challenges

GAO-02-739T: Published: May 16, 2002. Publicly Released: May 16, 2002.

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A central focus of welfare reform has been to help needy adults with children find and keep jobs. The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) unifies a fragmented employment and training system. Despite its similar fundamental focus, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was not required to participate in the one-stop system, although many states are coordinating their TANF services through one-stop centers. GAO found that coordination between TANF programs and WIA's one-stop centers has risen since WIA was first implemented in the spring of 2000. WIA funds may not be readily used to serve TANF clients in the one-stops because WIA's performance measures may be discourage serving clients who may not be successful. Moreover, when TANF clients need training to achieve self sufficiency, WIA funds may be unavailable because the amount of training provided under WIA has been reduced. Some local areas have found innovative ways to provide TANF services in the one-stops, often focusing on resolving the issues that had plagued the fragmented employee training system.

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