Welfare to Work:

Most AFDC Training Programs Not Emphasizing Job Placement

HEHS-95-113: Published: May 19, 1995. Publicly Released: May 19, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on employment-focused welfare-to-work programs, focusing on: (1) the extent to which county and local Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) programs focus on employment; and (2) factors that hinder administrators' efforts to move Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients into jobs.

GAO found that: (1) some welfare-to-work programs stress employment and work closely with employers in promoting work among welfare recipients; (2) although the programs reviewed keep participants focused on the importance of work and help program participants find jobs or work-experience positions, they vary in their approach; (3) many county JOBS programs do not have a strong employment focus and many county administrators do not work with employers to find jobs for participants or use work-experience programs; (4) many local program administrators believe that insufficient staffing and resources hinder their work with employers and more flexibility in federal rules governing work-experience programs would facilitate their use; (5) the low-wage work available to many AFDC recipients discourages their movement into the work force; and (6) AFDC programs may emphasize preparing participants for employment without also making strong efforts to help them get jobs, since states are not required to track the number of AFDC recipients who get jobs or earn their way off AFDC.

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