Welfare To Work:

Effectiveness of Tribal JOBS Programs Unknown

HRD-92-67BR: Published: Mar 19, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) Program operated by Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations, focusing on: (1) the effectiveness of those programs; and (2) problems associated with their implementation.

GAO found that: (1) it was unable to assess the effectiveness of Tribal JOBS programs or determine the outcomes resulting from those programs, since the programs lacked established evaluation criteria and sufficient and reliable program data was unavailable; (2) in January 1992, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began requiring tribal programs to report quarterly on selected program information, including participants' educational achievements and job entries; (3) the economic environment in which many Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations must operate may limit the success of tribal JOBS Programs; (4) high unemployment rates and limited economic development on reservations may also limit tribal JOBS results; (5) high unemployment rates ranged from 49 to 93 percent for the seven tribal JOBS Programs visited; (6) 85 percent of the tribal organizations surveyed reported that a lack of transportation made participation in JOBS difficult and 79 percent reported that a lack of child care also made participation difficult; and (7) tribal JOBS administrators reported that they would have liked more and earlier HHS assistance and guidance in establishing their programs.

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