Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Early Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Findings From Exploratory Site Visits and Review of Program Plans

Publication Date
Jan 31, 2000


The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grants program was created under the 1997 Balanced Budget Act (BBA) to provide job opportunities, employment preparation, and job retention services for welfare recipients who are the hardest to employ. Congress intended for this new grants program to supplement ongoing welfare reform policies and programs enacted under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) of 1996. The BBA authorized the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to distribute $3 billion in WtW grants to states and localities and instructed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of WtW-funded programs and initiatives.

The National Evaluation of the WtW Grants Program has two primary objectives:  (1) to describe the implementation and operations of WtW grantee programs, and (2) to determine the results achieved by programs funded by the grants. These objectives are being achieved with a three-part research strategy:

  1. A nationwide survey of all WtW grantees, conducted twice and supplemented by a review of all grantee applications and program plans and initial exploratory site visits to a purposefully selected set of approved local programs
  2. A process and implementation analysis of programs operated by 12 to 15 grantees
  3. An experimental-design, random-assignment study that includes individual impact and cost-benefit analyses for a subset of programs included under the process and implementation study.

This report, one of several that will be issued under the evaluation over the next three years, provides information on the early design, operations, and implementation of the WtW grants program. It is intended as a companion to an earlier report on the evaluation's survey of all WtW grantees (Perez-Johnson and Hershey 1999).

This report is based on site visits conducted in early 1999 and a review of documents submitted by programs to DOL. The visits were exploratory, primarily intended to assist in the selection of sites for the next intensive phase of the evaluation. Sites were selected for the exploratory visits through a two-stage process. First, based on surveys administered to grantees, a review of competitive grant applications, and responses to outreach letters sent to state-level WtW grant liaisons and all private industry councils (PICs), dozens of grantees with some level of interest and possible suitability for the in-depth impact analysis were identified. Second, telephone discussions were held with administrators of about 80 of these projects to determine whether the program might be appropriate for a random assignment evaluation. (The main criteria were whether the program was planning to have more than 500 participants, and expected more referrals than the program could serve.) The final sites selected represented a mix of programs that might be candidates for the in-depth random impact analysis and others that might be prospects for process analysis only. The latter group of sites are primarily rural or have small projected enrollment. Thus, the sites visited in 1999 were not meant to be representative of all WtW grant programs. Similarly, since the visits were conducted relatively soon after program implementation, they do not necessarily represent current operations. Nonetheless, the exploratory site visits covered a set of programs diverse in type, scale, and geographic location. They can provide valuable insights into operational issues during the early phases of the WtW grants program.

The information presented in this report augments what was learned from the first survey of grantees as reported in the March 1999 Report to Congress (Perez-Johnson and Hershey 1999). In many instances, as noted in the remaining sections of this report, findings from the exploratory site visits expand on or confirm findings from the first grantee survey. Much remains to be learned about WtW programs as the evaluation continues, but some broad observations are possible now. The table on the following page [below] summarizes the main findings presented in this report.

Summary of Early Implementation Findings from the Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program
Many WtW programs place special emphasis on supported employment.  Local WtW programs offer a range of common employment-related activities, such as job readiness classes, skills assessment, and job search assistance. As determined in the earlier grantee survey, however, many programs also offer subsidized work or work experience enhanced with occupational skills training or education.
Job retention services are beginning to get increased attention in WtW programs.  In most WtW programs, case management and supportive services are extended for at least one year after a participant begins a job, although the intensity of the services varies. Intensive approaches include assigning a job coach to each participant, identifying mentors for new workers, and designating program staff to mediate between participants and their employers to resolve workplace problems.
In the first year of operations, WtW grantees spent considerable time on administrative and enrollment issues.  Program issues have been more complex, and the pace of implementation slower than expected. Grantees had to distribute funds, contract for service delivery, resolve fiscal audit and reporting concerns, coordinate with TANF agencies, and develop procedures to comply with complex program eligibility criteria. Local administrators and staff in the sites visited feel that the restrictive eligibility criteria in the original legislation is the main reason that enrollments have been lower than expected, confirming findings from the earlier survey of all grantees.
Potentially promising strategies are being developed and refined in some WtW grant programs.  Many WtW programs are developing innovative ways to improve the employability and job skills of participants. Some, for example, are subsidizing post-employment education and training, establishing business partnerships for work-based internships, and enhancing work experience with education or training that "wraps around" participants' work hours.
About half of the WtW programs are attempting to focus on specific subgroups of the overall eligible population. This observation supports the findings from the first grantee survey, but the site visits also revealed that targeting is seldom done to the exclusion of other population groups  nearly all programs visited, including those emphasizing special groups, are prepared to serve all categories of eligibles.
Local programs are accessing and using WtW grant funds in a variety of ways.  Many programs are using a mix of funds from competitive grants and formula grants. Some also have funds from the governor's discretionary portion of the state's formula grant.
PICs and community-based organizations (CBOs) are the main local actors, but delivering WtW services involves complex institutional arrangements.  At the local level, most WtW-funded programs are administered by Private Industry Councils (PICs) or by nonprofit CBOs. This does not mean, however, that WtW programs are always distinct from TANF, since many PICs and CBOs are also service providers for TANF work programs.
The delivery of services is highly decentralized.  Most WtW grant programs operate at multiple offices and locations, rather than serving individuals in one central location, even when a single program model is being followed.

The rest of the report is divided into five sections. Section A presents background information on the design of the evaluation and the policy context of the evaluation. Sections B through E address four basic questions about the early structure and operational experience of the WtW program:

  1. What is the general status of the WtW program implementation nationwide?  What federal WtW funds have been distributed?  How are local WtW programs using the federal funds to complement state welfare reform programs?  How did program startup progress?
  2. How are local WtW programs being structured?  What agencies are involved?  What interagency collaboration exists?
  3. What services are being offered?  What program models are being developed, and what populations are targeted?
  4. What innovations and challenges are evident?  What issues influenced implementation, and how have they been addressed?  What potentially promising approaches are being tried?

A. Background and Design of the Evaluation

The WtW grants program is being implemented during a period of unprecedented change in the nation's welfare system, including a dramatic decline in caseloads. This section begins with a discussion of the welfare reform policy context as it relates to the WtW grants program and this evaluation, followed by a description of some key features of the WtW grants program. Finally, the design of the overall evaluation is summarized.

Policy Context for the WtW Evaluation.

Welfare policy today is dramatically different from what it was before Congress enacted PRWORA and the BBA. The most significant change is that PRWORA replaced the entitlement to cash assistance, the cornerstone of the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to states. States have substantial discretion in designing their TANF programs, but federal law requires that the welfare program be time-limited and that it emphasize moving recipients off the welfare rolls and into the labor force. Within the framework of welfare reform, WtW grants provide additional resources to states and communities to help recipients make a transition to lasting employment.

The Shift to a Flexible, Transitional, Work-Oriented Welfare System.  Under TANF, most families can receive federally funded assistance for a total of only 60 months (or less, at state option) during their lifetime, and all adult recipients are required to work if they are job-ready or once they have received assistance for 24 months. To ensure that state TANF programs emphasize work, PRWORA mandates that states meet steadily increasing requirements for the percentage of their TANF caseload that must be engaged in employment-related activities.(1)

As a result of time limits and the increased emphasis on work, most state TANF programs stress job search assistance and encourage, or require, recipients to find jobs as quickly as possible. This "work first" approach to preparing for employment is a departure from the encouragement of extended education and training that was common under the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program, the AFDC welfare-to-work program that preceded PRWORA.

In addition to placing greater emphasis on moving recipients quickly into jobs, many states have used the flexibility allowed under PRWORA to reinforce work requirements. States have imposed even more stringent penalties for noncompliance, as well as lifetime limits shorter than the 60-month maximum prescribed in PRWORA. Most states reinforce work requirements by providing more generous earned-income disregards and assistance with child care and transportation expenses than they provided under the AFDC program.

Although states must meet several federally defined goals and requirements, PRWORA transfers to the states much of the decision-making authority the federal government previously had over the AFDC program. Thus, while many states have adopted the types of changes noted above, how these TANF policies and program features are combined varies across states and localities. These variations, in turn, influence the design and implementation of programs operating with WtW grants, because these programs must be consistent with state TANF policies. Therefore, from an evaluation perspective, understanding the design and implementation of a given state or locality's WtW program also requires understanding its TANF program.

Declining TANF Caseloads and the Increasing Concentration of Hard-to-Employ Recipients.  Welfare caseloads have dropped dramatically over the past several years. From January 1994 to March 1999, the number of families receiving AFDC (and then TANF) declined by 47 percent, from 5.05 million to 2.67 million. Since January 1997, they have declined by more than one-third (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1999).

This sharp decline has several implications for the implementation of WtW programs. First, it leaves many states with TANF funds that, when added to their state resources, allow increased spending on services designed to promote employment for those who remain on welfare. Thus, states and localities have at their disposal both WtW and TANF funds with which to address multiple, severe barriers to employment faced by individuals still receiving TANF. Second, to the extent that the decline in caseloads results from the strong national economy and job market, the environment in which WtW and TANF work programs are operating is more conducive to success than would be the case in a slower economy. Meanwhile, states must continue to meet the federal work participation requirement. Finally, as caseloads decline, evidence is mounting that the remaining TANF recipients are, on average, less job-ready and have more personal and family problems than was true of the caseload in earlier years. How these simultaneous effects and implications of caseload decline affect the operation and success of WtW programs will be an important issue for the evaluation as it continues.

WtW Emphasis on Employment for the Most Disadvantaged.  To ensure that grantees target their WtW resources on the hardest to employ, the legislation as enacted in 1997 required that at least 70 percent of all grant funds be spent on people who meet two criteria. First, they must have received TANF or AFDC for 30 months or more or be within 12 months of reaching a TANF time limit. Second, they must face two of three specified barriers: (1) lack of a high school diploma or GED and low reading or math skills, (2) substance abuse problems, and (3) a poor work history. Noncustodial parents  a population not served under TANF  who face two of the three barriers also qualify under the 70 percent criterion, if they have a child in a long-term welfare case. Up to 30 percent of the funds can be spent on TANF recipients or noncustodial parents who have characteristics associated with long-term dependency (such as being a teenage parent or a high school dropout).(2)  The WtW eligibility criteria and required spending targets under the 70/30 provision have been important factors in the design and implementation of programs at the local level.

Organizational Separation of TANF and WtW.  In authorizing the WtW grants program, Congress gave workforce development agencies a share of responsibility for welfare reform. This decision has led to the creation of two distinct administrative and funding structures, one for TANF and one for WtW.

The 50 states and the District of Columbia are authorized to receive a total of about $16.5 billion annually as a TANF block grant from DHHS through fiscal year 2002. TANF is administered at the national level by DHHS, and most states have chosen to administer TANF through a state welfare or human services agency that previously had responsibility for AFDC. A few states (for example, Utah and Wisconsin) have reorganized their human services delivery systems by merging the public assistance functions and employment and training functions within a workforce development agency.

Responsibility for WtW programs is allocated quite differently. Responsibility for WtW rests at the federal level with DOL, and at the local level primarily with workforce development agencies  PICs or workforce investment boards (WIBs). At the state level, the governor designates which agency will administer WtW. In more than three-quarters of the states, the JTPA or workforce development agency is responsible for the WtW funds (Table A.1). One state, Wisconsin, has designated its integrated agency that administers both JTPA and TANF programs to administer WtW.

The WtW grants program has a strong local orientation, and its funding is structured to favor local areas with the greatest need. Seventy-five percent of federal WtW funds are allocated to states based on a formula that considers states' shares of the national poverty population and TANF caseload. States must, in turn, pass 85 percent of the funding they receive to local PICs or WIBs.(3)  PICs and other groups in consultation with them can also apply for separate competitive grants directly from DOL. Thus, at the local level, several programs, funded by TANF or WtW grants, or both, may be engaged in moving welfare recipients into the workforce.

Type of State Agency Number of Formula Grantees Percent of Formula Grantees
JTPA/Workforce Investment Act 39 81
TANF 8 17
JTPA and TANF 1 2
Total States/Territories with FY 1998 Formula Grants 48 100
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, WtW Grant Review Database, 1999.

Note:  The following states did not participate in the formula grants program in FY 1998: Idaho, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Objectives and Design of the Evaluation

Congress requires DHHS, in collaboration with DOL, to evaluate the effectiveness of WtW initiatives. The evaluation is being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., with assistance from two subcontractors, the Urban Institute and Support Services International, Inc. The evaluation addresses five key questions:

  1. What types and packages of services do WtW grantees provide? How do they compare to services already available under TANF or Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) funding?
  2. What are the net impacts of various WtW program approaches on employment and on families' well-being?
  3. What challenges do grantees confront as they implement and operate WtW programs?
  4. Do the benefits of WtW programs outweigh their costs?

5. How well do PICs and other non-TANF organizations  the primary vehicles for funding and operating WtW programs  meet the challenge of serving those hardest to employ?

To address these questions, the evaluation plan includes three main components:

  1. Descriptive Assessment of All WtW Grantees.  A mail survey of all formula and competitive grantees was administered in 1998, and a second survey will be completed in late 1999, providing a comprehensive overview of the program designs and activities offered, the target populations, the characteristics of participants, and, to the extent they are available, placement outcomes. All grant applications and state WtW plans submitted to DOL were also reviewed, and exploratory site visits were made to a selected group of grantees to develop a fuller understanding of program variations and to aid in the selection of sites for in-depth studies. The application and plan reviews and the exploratory visits form the basis of this report.
  2. In-Depth Process and Implementation Study.  From 1999 to 2000, in-depth process analysis will be conducted focusing on 12 to 15 local grantees. Site visits will include discussions with staff of WtW programs and related agencies, focus groups with participants, and program observation. The analysis will identify implementation issues and challenges, and help to explain how programs achieve impacts estimated in some sites. A report on program implementation is scheduled to be issued in spring 2000.
  3. In-Depth Impact and Cost-Effectiveness Study.  In three or four of these in-depth study sites, rigorous studies using random assignment designs will be conducted to determine what difference WtW programs make in employment and family well-being outcomes. This component is being conducted only in a subset of the 12 to 15 in-depth study sites, because few grantees are identifying more eligible candidates than they can serve, and such "excess demand" is a necessary precondition for the use of random assignment. Where the random assignment design is used, comparing outcomes for the two groups will indicate program impact and help identify successful program models. Comparisons will also be made between the net benefits of these impacts and the additional costs of delivering program services. Findings on program impacts will be reported in stages: mid-2001, late 2002, and mid-2003.

Under the BBA, Congress also authorized grants to American Indian tribes and Alaska native villages, and mandated that their programs be evaluated. Therefore, in addition to the main components listed above, a special process and implementation study focuses on documenting tribal welfare and employment systems, the supportive services they provide, and how tribes integrate funds from various sources to move their members from welfare to work. This study focuses on implementation experiences in 10 tribal sites, selected to include those with innovative designs and practices, signs of some success, and variation in location, size, and local labor market and economic conditions. Findings from the tribal program evaluation will be reported in fall 2000.

The rest of this report presents preliminary evaluation findings, drawing on additional information obtained since the first report based on the initial grantee survey. As indicated earlier, this report is based on two main sources of information:  (1) two-day exploratory site visits to 22 local WtW programs (Table A.2), and (2) a review of grantee applications and state plans submitted to DOL.(4)  The 22 local site visits occurred between November 1998 and June 1999; brief profiles of the 22 programs appear at the end of this volume as Appendix D.

Source Number of Programs Examined
Review of Applications Submitted by Competitive Grantees
Round 1 grantees awarded 51
Round 2 grantees awarded 75
Review of WtW Amendments to State TANF Plans
Formula grantees FY 1998 (states, territories, and District of Columbia) 48
Exploratory Site Visits to Local Grantees 22
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, WtW Grant Review Database, 1999.

Note:  The following states did not participate in the formula grants program in FY 1998: Idaho, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

In addition to the site visits, all 126 applications submitted to DOL that eventually resulted in awards of competitive WtW grants under Round 1 and Round 2 were reviewed, and all 48 WtW amendments to state TANF plans were reviewed.(5)  The application and plan review is an ongoing task in the evaluation; as new grants are awarded, additional applications are reviewed.

The findings presented in this report should be regarded as preliminary rather than conclusive assessments, since the information is based on a small number of grantees and the exploratory visits were conducted only a short while after the programs started implementation. Policymakers should be cautious in interpreting these early experiences. Implementing the WtW grants program requires major system change, perhaps even greater and more time-consuming than could have been anticipated when the WtW program was authorized, and grantees will continue to learn and evolve.

B. Status of WtW Funds Distribution

Implementing the WtW grants program begins with the distribution of funds to states and localities, and the development of local program strategies for the use of those funds. This section summarizes the distribution of federal funds and points out the variety of ways in which local grantees can combine funding streams to support their WtW programs.

Federal Funding Has Been Distributed to Programs in 48 States and Territories

Grants have been awarded by DOL in keeping with congressional specification of how to allocate funds. Congress authorized $3 billion for the WtW grants  $1.5 billion for FY 1998 and $1.5 billion for FY 1999. Congress set aside a total of $154 million at the national level for American Indian and Alaska Native programs ($30 million), for various research activities ($24 million), and for performance bonuses for successful states ($100 million). One-quarter of the remaining grant funds were distributed competitively, based on applications submitted to DOL (these are referred to as "competitive grants"). The other three-quarters were allocated to states according to a formula based on each state's share of the national poverty population and number of adults on welfare.

DOL has awarded these grants over an 18-month period, from March 1998 to September 1999 (Table B.1). DOL awarded the first round of formula grants funds beginning in March 1998, followed by three rounds of competitive grants awarded in May 1998, November 1998, and September 1999. Formula funds were awarded to states over a six-month period in 1998 and a six-month period in 1999.

Grant Type/Timing of Award(a) Number of Grants(b) Total Federal Funding
(in Millions)
Formula Grants 94 $1,979.7
FY1998 awarded March-October 1998 48 $1,034.2
FY1999 awarded March-July 1999 46 $ 945.5
Competitive Grants 190 $ 694.0
Awarded May 1998 (Round 1) 51 $ 199.0
Awarded November 1998 (Round 2) 75 $ 273.0
Awarded September 1999 (Round 3) 64 $ 222.0
Total Formula and Competitive Grants as of September 1999 284 $2,673.7
Source:  U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

a  Based on date when grant award was announced.

b Includes the 44 states that accepted formula funding for FY 1998, 42 states that accepted formula funding for FY 1999 and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

WtW grants, now widely distributed, vary in size, as specified in the legislation. WtW grant funds have been distributed to 44 states, plus the District of Columbia and three territories, under either the formula funds for FY 1998 and FY 1999 and the competitive grants (Rounds 1, 2, or 3). (See details in Appendix A). A total of 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, requested and received WtW formula funds for FY 1998, and 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and the territories, for FY 1999.(6)  The annual formula grant amounts ranged from about $3 million in small states such as New Hampshire and North Dakota to more than $190 million in California. In addition, 190 competitive grants were awarded  51 in the first round, 75 in the second round, and 64 in the recent third round. Competitive grants have ranged from as little as $123,810 for a local program to $12 million for a complex, multistate initiative.

Local Programs Are Obtaining and Using Federal WtW Funds in Various Ways

The state agencies that administer WtW formula grants are required to distribute formula grants to local areas. According to the federal legislation, 85 percent of the formula funds a state receives must be distributed to local PICs, which have authority to administer JTPA programs in designated local service delivery areas (SDAs). In states that have already begun to implement the WIA of 1996, which rescinded JTPA, Congress specified that the presumptive WtW administrative entity at the substate level be the newly formed WIB. Governors can request waivers from DOL to designate an entity other than the PIC (or WIB) to receive WtW formula funds, provided there is substantiated evidence that these entities cannot do so.(7)  The other 15 percent of a state's formula grant can be used, at the discretion of the governor, for special projects and administration.

Thus, some local WtW programs draw on several types of WtW funding as well as other funding sources. Local grantees may receive various combinations of WtW competitive grants directly from DOL, a share of their states' WtW formula grants, and an allocation of their states' WtW 15 percent discretionary funds. The diversity of funding appears even greater at the level of the programs operated by the grantees, since programs may also be supported in the following ways:

  • The TANF agency may provide funding from its TANF block grant to complement WtW funding.
  • The local PIC/SDA (or alternative formula grant entity) can contract out for actual service delivery, including funding distinct programs.
  • State WtW agencies can fund special projects, programs, or services, using the state's discretionary 15 percent portion of the formula grant.

Competitive grantees that proposed to operate multisite programs could distribute funds to local programs, separate from any local formula or competitive grantees.

C. WtW Local Program Structure and Operations

The role local WtW programs play is likely to be affected by who runs them, and what other program responsibilities the implementing agencies have. Given the various ways local programs can access WtW grant funds, and the prevalence of PIC contracting for delivery of JTPA-funded services, it is not surprising that diverse organizations  not just PICs/WIBs  are involved in the WtW grant-funded programs at the local level. Many PICs also have responsibility for TANF work programs, and some community-based organizations that received competitive grants are also service providers for TANF or JTPA. Therefore, a full understanding of the organizational structure of WtW requires not only identifying grantee organizations, but also considering how WtW service delivery relates to JTPA and TANF programs.

PICs and CBOs Are the Main WtW Actors, but Institutional Arrangements Are Complex

PICs are the central players in the WtW grants program system, primarily because of their presumptive role in the formula grants. The funding mechanism specified by legislation requires WtW formula grants to flow to local PICs. As a result, about 90 percent of all SDAs/PICs nationwide are formally involved in the WtW grants program, mainly by administering formula grant funds received from the state agency (Table C.1). Only 64 SDAs/PICs nationwide (about 10 percent of all SDAs/PICs) are not receiving formula or competitive funds directly or as a subgrantee  because they are too small, because DOL approved a state request to designate an alternative local administrator for WtW formula funds, or because the state chose not to receive federal formula funds.(8)

Mix of WtW Funding Number of SDAs/PICs Percent of All SDAs/PICs
Receives WtW Funds 552 89.7
Formula funds only, as subgrantee from state 492 79.9
Formula funds and competitive grantee 38 6.2
Formula funds and subgrantee under a competitive multisite grant 21 3.4
Formula funds and competitive grantee and a sub-grantee under a competitive multisite grant 1 0.2
No competitive funds and no formula funds 64 10.4
SDA does not qualify for $100,000 formula minimum 3 0.5
Formula funds go to an alternate agency 18 2.9
State did not receive FY1998 formula funds 43 7.0
Total Number of SDAs/PICS 616 100
Source:  Review of competitive Round 1 and 2 applications, and FY1998 formula grant plans. National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, WtW Grants Application Review Data Base, 1999; and DOL directory of SDAs/PICs in 1998.

PICs/SDAs are also heavily involved in administering competitive grants, accounting for about a third of the competitive grants awarded in Rounds 1 and 2 (Table C.2). PICs/SDAs were eligible, along with other types of organizations, to apply directly to DOL to receive competitive grants, and 41 were awarded their own competitive grants in addition to receiving substate formula funds.

Most competitive grants, however, were awarded not to PICs but to other types of local organizations, most often community organizations. More than a third of the competitive grantees in Rounds 1 and 2 were community action agencies, community development agencies, or other nonprofit community-based organizations or associations. Competitive grants were issued to such organizations as Goodwill Industries, United Way, family services agencies, organizations that serve immigrants and refugees, Catholic Charities, and programs for fathers.


(Rounds 1 and 2)
Type of Entity Total
Community action agencies 7
Community development/economic development agencies 6
Other nonprofit or community-based organizations, associations, or collaboratives 37
Local welfare/TANF agencies 3
Local housing authorities or collaboratives 4
Other city or county agencies 10
Educational institutions 7
For-profit companies (including a tribal enterprise) 5
Labor unions or collaboratives 4
National associations 2
Total competitive grantees 126
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, WtW Grant Review Database, 1999. Grantees were classified by the evaluation team.

Note:  This table includes grantees awarded under Rounds 1 and 2.

The central role assumed by PICs, however, does not always provide a clear indication of how WtW programs are organizationally related to other programs run by the PIC or to programs administered by other agencies. WtW grant-funded programs at the local level are not always structurally or operationally integrated with JTPA. For example, PICs routinely subcontract out for JTPA service delivery, and many have done so for WtW service provision  sometimes to the same providers that are delivering JTPA services, sometimes to totally separate providers. Similarly, even though WtW grants are administered through the PIC system, some WtW programs actually are integrated with TANF work programs, since some PICs have responsibility for the TANF work program in their communities, serving as contractors to the TANF agency. Thus, PICs are the most prevalent organizational actor in WtW, but their role, and that of other entities, is more complex.

How a PIC structures its WtW grant program often depends on the type of JTPA/WIA structure already in place, and whether the PIC/WIB is responsible for the TANF work program. Two common situations, and the program structure for WtW services that emerges in them, are:

  1. WtW is incorporated into a One-Stop Career Center system.  In some communities, WtW funds are added to JTPA (or WIA), Employment Service, or TANF work program funds to support a single system of employment and training programs, even in advance of the July 2000 WIA required implementation. For example, in Kansas City and Boston, all individuals seeking employment assistance can go to a designated full-service One-Stop Center. WtW funds are merged with other funds to operate the One-Stop Center, and costs of services are covered by appropriate funding sources based on the eligibility characteristics of the individual job seekers and the types of services they receive. Services may be directly by staff in the One-Stop Center or by staff at subcontracted service provider offices. Often there is a mix of "in-house" services and services provided by contractors.
  2. WtW is a separate program operated through service contracts.  In other communities, JTPA operates either totally or primarily through a system of contracted service provider agencies  meaning that no in-house services are provided directly. Not surprisingly, the PICs in these localities also tend to contract out WtW services, which typically results in WtW services being delivered by a set of service providers.

Under both JTPA structures  the One-Stop structure and contracted service delivery  the PIC/WIB may also be responsible for all or part of the TANF work program, usually under a contractual arrangement with the welfare agency. In this case, the WtW grants program and the TANF work program may be integrated, but operate separately from the JTPA/WIA programs. For example, in New York City, the PIC and JTPA programs are not directly involved with WtW. The TANF welfare agency (the Human Resources Administration) has been designated the administrator of the WtW formula funds in the city, and WtW grant-funded programs are highly coordinated with the TANF work program.

Thus, while PICs are the primary recipients of WtW grants, grant-funded WtW programs also involve other agencies and programs. In some places, WtW is linked or even merged with the TANF work program. In some places, the WtW service system is combined with JTPA/WIA; and in some places, all three (TANF, WtW, and JTPA/WIA) are combined. In addition, important roles are also being played by other agencies; most notably, the availability of WtW grants has expanded the role for nonprofit community-based organizations in the welfare-employment arena.

Services Are Usually Decentralized, Even When a Single Program Model Is Adopted

WtW-funded services typically are being provided through multiple locations or offices, but this decentralization does not always imply diversity in program model or approach. Service delivery may be decentralized even when the grantee follows a single program model, but in some places decentralization is accompanied by a diverse array of program approaches.

Services may be decentralized either because the grantee relies on service delivery contracts, or because it operates its own network of programs in multiple locations. In most of the 22 sites in which exploratory visits were conducted, the PIC or competitive grantee subcontracts with service delivery providers  each of which, in turn, usually has its own program, as well as a network of other agencies with which it coordinates services for its participants. In Dallas, for example, the WDB has more than 20 WtW service delivery contractors. In other places, however, the grantee agency itself has established satellite offices or multiple offices where its own staff are located and provide direct services. For example, the United Way of Central Alabama, a competitive grantee in Birmingham, has established five neighborhood centers to serve WtW participants. The Human Resources Development Foundation in West Virginia, another competitive grantee, directly operates six hub offices that serve participants in a 29-county area.

Despite decentralization of their WtW services, some grantees have defined and are operating a single program model  a fairly standard set of services, policies and procedures, staff training, and objectives. Among the 22 sites visited, 12 operate a fairly consistent single-program model. United Way of Central Alabama, for example, has developed a model that focuses on intensive case management, job coaching, and job development that is followed by staff in the five neighborhood community centers. The Consortium for Worker Education (CWE) program, in New York City, has a more complex but still standardized program model involving centralized and decentralized services. Pre-employment preparation is conducted by two nonprofit subcontractors, followed by centrally operated child care preemployment workshops, after which participants are certified as family day care providers. Although the WtW participants operate their own home-based child care operation, they are affiliated as satellite providers with one of five different child care centers run by different agencies.

Almost as common, it appears, are grantees that have used their funds to support services that are not only physically decentralized but are also diverse in program design. In 10 of the 22 sites visited for this phase of the evaluation, formula or competitive grant funds (or in some cases both) are used to operate two or more separate WtW programs, operated by different agencies as subcontractors of the grantee. For example, Houston Works, a local SDA, contracts with seven different service providers  including specialized community-based organizations, training centers, and a community college  each operating its own separate WtW grant-funded program. In other sites, the grantee may be using WtW funds for one major program but also one or more smaller programs. For example, the Boston Office of Jobs and Community Services (JCS) uses nearly all its WtW formula grant for an Employer Partners Program, in which participants receive preemployment services at a partnering company, continue at the company as interns, and are then hired as regular employees if they complete their internship successfully. In addition, JCS operates a small Enhanced Community Service Program for WtW-eligible people who need more basic and structured work experience.

Thus, WtW grant-funded services are being delivered in a variety of ways. Services may be provided directly (in-house) by a grantee, or may be provided by staff of subcontractor organizations. Services provided directly by in-house grantee staff in one program may be contracted out in another program.

D. Welfare-to-Work Services to Participants

The WtW legislation defines eligibility criteria and allowable services, but leaves grantees considerable latitude to target eligible subgroups and tailor services. In both the first grantee survey and the 22 exploratory visits to grantee sites, special efforts were made to discover to what extent, and how, grantees were taking advantage of this latitude. The exploratory visits, although conducted at only a small, nonrandom sample of sites, support two findings from the first grantee survey. First, they support the survey finding that about half of all programs simply intend to serve all WtW-eligible individuals, and about half are attempting in some way to focus their efforts on specific subgroups of the overall eligible population. The site visits revealed, though, that nearly all programs, including those that focus mainly on specific subgroups, are prepared to serve all categories of eligibles. Second, findings from the exploratory visits underscored the considerable extent to which grantees are developing special employment components, including an emphasis on job retention and supportive work experiences.

Many WtW Programs Target Particular Subgroups, but Seldom to Exclusion of Others

The population eligible for WtW-funded services is defined in the legislation. Given that definition, the population served consists of individuals with various combinations of characteristics:

  1. ong-term welfare recipients who have received cash assistance for 30 months or more,
  2. people approaching a TANF time limit,
  3. individuals who lack a high school diploma and have low reading and math skills,
  4. substance abusers,
  5. those with a poor work history,
  6. teenage parents, and
  7. noncustodial parents with employment barriers.

Grantees have latitude in targeting particular subgroups of the eligible population, as long as the overall use of resources complies with the 70/30 spending criterion described earlier.

Based on both the first grantee survey and the exploratory visits, it appears that most WtW programs are prepared to serve all categories of WtW-eligibles. Among the 22 grantees whose programs were examined in the exploratory visits, only two are explicitly serving only a particular subgroup (Table D.1). The Wisconsin Department of Corrections regional office in Milwaukee (which received a share of the governor's discretionary funds), and the Los Angeles PIC are both focusing exclusively on noncustodial parents.

Population Focus Number of Local Sites Visited
No special targeting within the eligible population 10
Serve all eligibles, but special focus on:(a) 9
  • Chemically dependent
  • Physically or mentally disabled
  • Noncustodial parents
  • Homeless individuals
  • Public housing residents
  • Limited-English speakers
  • Teen parents
Narrow target group within the eligible population 3
  • Noncustodial parents
  • Limited-English speakers
Total Number of Local Sites Visited 22
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, Exploratory Site Visits, 1999.

a  Some programs focus on more than one special population group.

It is considerably more common for grantees to serve the entire range of the WtW-eligible population, but to make special efforts to recruit or serve particular subgroups. The first grantee survey suggested that about 43 percent of WtW programs have developed special services for particular subgroups or are focusing outreach efforts on particular populations. Similarly, just over half of the 22 grantee sites to which exploratory visits were made are focusing to some extent on particular subgroups. Whether or not they are the sole target of services, noncustodial parents are the most common special target group (Table D.1).(9)  Special services for fathers are provided, or are being developed, in 7 of the 22 sites, including the two that serve noncustodial fathers exclusively. Other eligible population groups that appear to be receiving special attention are welfare recipients who have a chemical or substance abuse problem and those with physical or mental disabilities. Nine of the 22 have consciously designed some of their service components for particular populations, although their programs are available to all eligibles. Although this observation is based on a small sample of programs, it is consistent with the results from the earlier survey of all grantees.

Targeting is accomplished in different ways, both explicit and implicit. Some grantees locate their facilities in certain neighborhoods where they expect particular subgroups of the WtW population to live, such as immigrants or public housing residents. Some grantees subcontract with service providers that have particular experience and orientation towards serving certain populations (for example, the homeless, disabled, immigrants, or noncustodial parents). Many programs also have developed outreach procedures aimed at particular groups, such as non-English speakers, or at particular neighborhoods. Strategies that promote targeting were put in place by such grantees as:

  • Dallas County Workforce Development Board, Project ACCESS.  Although not targeted to a specific subpopulation, the program has close links and subcontracting agreements with local housing authorities, and is thus likely to serve a substantial number of individuals in public housing and Section 8 units.
  • Houston Works.  This program is not specifically directed toward special target groups, but the agency has set the ambitious goal of serving 480 noncustodial fathers, more than a third of its overall enrollment projection. Houston Works has also subcontracted with several agencies that have expertise serving specific populations, including homeless individuals, refugees, and persons with disabilities.
  • Seedco/Non-Profit Assistance Corporation, New York City.  The Neighborhood Strategies Project Work Program (NSP) has established partnerships with three neighborhood-based CBOs that have extensive experience providing employment, economic development, and social services in three low-income areas of the city with high concentrations of immigrants and others with limited English skills.
  • City of Detroit Employment and Training Department.  Although particular subgroups are not targeted, three WtW subcontractors specialize in serving specific target groups: Goodwill Industries (individuals with disabilities), SER (the limited English-speaking), and Jewish Vocational Services (the homeless). A goal was also set that one-third of participants would be noncustodial parents.

Emphasis on Job Retention and Supported Work Reflects Program Intent and Challenges

Most WtW programs observed so far provide a full range of employment preparation and support services, although some emphasize certain types of activities, in response to the special challenges of helping their target population. In all 22 sites visited, WtW-funded programs are providing standard employment and training services, including employability assessment, job search assistance in group workshops or through one-on-one counseling, job development, and job placement. In addition, two other employment-related components frequently appear in WtW programs: job retention services and supported employment experience.

The way in which WtW programs combine standard job search and placement services with more intensive retention and supported employment services is in part a reflection of how these programs relate to TANF programs. In some sites, WtW participants may already have gone through the basic job search required under the TANF program, before they are referred to the WtW program. Even in that circumstance, the WtW programs often include job readiness, job search, and placement components, tailored to deal with the particularly difficult problems of this subgroup of the overall TANF population. In some places, WtW participants who have already failed to find a job in the TANF job search program may bypass these services and be assigned directly to a different component  such as structured work experience  that provides greater support for resolving preemployment problems, and eventually for finding and keeping a job.

Most Grantees Are Beginning to Develop Job Retention Services.  Past research on employment programs for welfare recipients confirms that, while programs and demonstrations generally succeed in helping welfare recipients obtain jobs, many recipients soon lose or leave jobs, often returning to welfare. The TANF time limit makes improving job retention even more urgent. In part, the new focus on job retention reflects growing recognition of welfare recipients' personal problems, which can interfere with working, and the high turnover rate in low-wage jobs.

In general, the 22 WtW grant programs visited were just beginning to develop their postemployment retention services and refine their plans based on participants' actual needs. The retention services defined by grantees vary in two dimensions:  (1) the way in which case management is extended and becomes the core of retention services, and (2) the use of incentives for job retention.

The most typical approach to job retention services is to extend case management and supportive services for one or even in some cases two years after a participant begins a job. The intensity of this extended attention varies. Some programs provide intensive, ongoing case management beginning before employment starts and continuing afterwards, with counselors contacting participants weekly or at other specified intervals, or serving as mentors or as mediators between workers and employers. In United Way's Birmingham Works program, for example, each participant is assigned both a case manager and a job coach. Job coaches focus exclusively on employment issues; once participants have begun working at the best initial job they can get, job coaches work with them to upgrade their skills so they can move into the job they really want. Other grantees' postemployment services are less formal and less intensive, but in nearly every program visited, staff consider it part of their job to assist individuals who request help in finding a new job. Most staff interviewed feel that, at a minimum, follow-up contacts and extended supportive services such as child care and transportation assistance are important to job retention. Since there is no limit on how long WtW funds can be used for an individual participant, some services, such as job coaching or mentoring, continue as much as two years after a participant begins a job.

Some programs are encouraging job retention by offering financial incentives to workers or employers, or both. In Kansas City, for example, the Full Employment Council offers employers a wage subsidy to offset costs of training participants placed with them as interns, and employers have the option of instead receiving up to $1,000 to purchase outside training for the participant (referred to as a "customer"). The incentive payment is made if the employee is retained in unsubsidized employment for nine months. Over that period, participants receive vouchers they can use for work-related assistance, totaling $1,500 in value after nine months of consecutive employment with the same employer. These vouchers can be used for employment-related goods and services, such as transportation, day care, housing, clothing, or additional education and training.

It is common for grantees to define their postemployment services as promoting "retention and advancement," but experience sometimes forces a focus on the basics of just staying employed. The overall structure of the WtW program as defined in legislation presumes that once participants become employed, they can use postemployment services to develop and strengthen their skills and find better employment. In at least some grantee programs visited, however, the depth of participants' problems that emerge has led staff to focus on addressing the most immediate issues participants must resolve just to hold on to a job. One contractor for the San Francisco PIC, for example, found that crisis needs such as eviction threats and domestic violence consume staff attention, leaving little room to address longer-term career development concerns. How and to what extent grantees can systematically attend to job advancement concerns will be an important issue to be addressed as the evaluation continues.

Many WtW Grant Programs Are Emphasizing Supported Employment Activities.  One of the most distinctive developments in programs funded with WtW grants is the emphasis being placed on what can be called supported employment. Rather than simply placing individuals in regular jobs, many grantees are trying to widen the opportunities available to participants and increase their chances of success.

These supported employment efforts encompass not only the kinds of financial incentives described above, but also enhancement of the participant's work experience. The financial incentives can increase opportunities by encouraging employers to hire individuals they might not otherwise consider or provide structured on-the-job training beyond what they might otherwise offer new employees. Enhancement of the participant's work experience can take several forms. A specified number of hours of education or skills training can be provided, "wrapped around" the participant's work hours. Education or training instruction can be integrated into work experience assignments. Some grantees provide participants with intensive counseling, support services, and job development while they are in a work experience assignment. These enhancements are occurring for participants placed in jobs in the private sector as well as the public and nonprofit sectors.

Supported employment strategies are very common among WtW grantees. In the first grantee survey, more than 90 percent of WtW grantees reported that they would be providing such supported employment activities as an interim step toward unsubsidized employment. This finding was confirmed by the visits to 22 programs (Table D.2). Twenty of the 22 sites visited provide some form of supported employment, including work experience, on-the-job training, and internships (see Appendix C for details). These types of work activities have traditionally been offered to some extent through employment and training and welfare programs, but the site visits suggest that such supported employment may be more prominent in WtW grant programs, playing a role at least equal to direct job placement or workfare (where welfare recipients must work in exchange for their TANF benefits). This result is consistent with the overall intent of the WtW legislation to address the needs of the most difficult to employ.

Extent of Supported Employment Number of Sites
Little or no focus on subsidized work or enhanced work experience; focus is on entering regular jobs 2
Enhanced work experience for those unable to obtain regular job 13
Supported employment or work experience is the main WtW activity 7
  • Private business or industry partnerships (5)
  • Work assignments in public agencies and nonprofit organizations (2)
Total Number of Local Sites Visited 22
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, Exploratory Site Visits, 1999.

WtW grantees use supported employment activities as either a back-up strategy or an initial strategy for helping individual participants. In 13 of the 22 sites, the program staff first try to help the participant enter unsubsidized employment before considering use of supported employment activities. If participants' personal problems or skill deficits make entry to regular employment impossible, then the program can place them for a defined period in a supported employment activity. Efforts to place the participant in a regular unsubsidized job may continue without pause, or resume later after a defined period of supported employment. For example, in Philadelphia, WtW participants are first referred to one of eight Regional Service Centers (RSCs) for basic job search and placement assistance. Participants deemed by RSC staff to have little chance of finding regular employment, based on an initial assessment or a short period of job search, are referred to the Philadelphia@Work program, which places them in six-month positions with public and nonprofit employers, with their wages paid by the program. They work 25 hours per week, spend 10 hours per week in "wraparound" training, and are supported by a job coach. Toward the end of the six-month assignment, the job coach and the RSC collaborate to place the participant in unsubsidized employment.

Some grantees, in contrast, make supported employment their main WtW strategy and use it for all participants.(10)  In seven of the sites visited, the WtW program places all participants in a regular work environment and enhances the work assignment with some combination of education, skills development, and occupational training.

Whatever the sequence in which they are offered, these supported employment components tend to emphasize either public sector employment or partnerships with specific employers or industries in the private sector. The "public sector employment" program of the Detroit Employment and Training Department, for example, places participants in positions for up to six months with public, nonprofit, or in some cases private sector employers, and pays the full wage for that period.

In other sites, participants are placed primarily in the private sector with a specific employer or set of partner employers in a particular industry, or in particular occupations. This model is sometimes referred to as a sectoral, or work-based, approach. For example, the Employer Partners Program, administered by the Boston Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC), is a collaboration between EDIC's Office of Jobs and Community Service and major employers in several key industry sectors  including such firms as the Marriott Corporation, Partners Health Care, Benjamin Health Care, and TJ Maxx. All participants accepted by the employer go through a six- to eight-week paid internship and training program operated by the employer and a partner case management agency. During this period, the case management agency runs job preparation workshops 12 to 15 hours a week at the workplace, and the employer supervises on-the-job training for 30 to 35 hours a week. The business partner makes a commitment to hire as regular employees all participants who complete the six- to eight-week program.

In some cases, the sectoral model is more clearly focused on particular occupations. In New York City, for example, the Satellite Child Care Program (SCCP) of the Consortium for Worker Education, focuses on preparing participants as home-based child care providers, through a combination of work experience at child care centers and structured training. DePaul University in Chicago, in one of its WtW program components, focuses on preparing participants for positions in the hospitality industry, through a program sequence involving two weeks of classroom training, two weeks of ongoing classes and interviewing with hotel employers, and an unpaid internship of up to three weeks.

Thus, one of the distinct features of the emerging WtW grants-funded programs appears to be the emphasis placed on supported employment opportunities, typically involving some form of subsidized work or enhanced work experience. The work experience usually is enhanced by instruction or workshops intended to develop employability. Enhancements may include efforts to improve "soft skills" appropriate to the workplace in general, exploration of the skills and other requirements of specific occupations, and activities to prepare the individual for regular employmentin a specific occupation or industry. In programs that offer subsidized employment, work assignments tend to be very job-specific and generally involve a business partner. Although most of the programs are still in the early stages of implementation, their experiences in developing and operating these enhanced and supported employment models over the next few years may yield useful insights for programs targeting persons with serious employment barriers.

E. Summary of Implementation Challenges and Progress

The WtW grants program had an ambitious first year. Some of the challenges program administrators have encountered were identified in the exploratory site visits, and are summarized in this final section. Many programs have made progress in addressing these challenges, while some implementation concerns are still being confronted. Although some challenges still have to be overcome, it is also apparent that some creative service strategies are being developed. Both the challenges and the innovative program approaches are likely to yield important lessons for the future, concerning overall program design and structure, as well as guidance for the organization and delivery of particular services. These lessons will be clarified as the evalution continues. Meanwhile, the combination of the first grantee survey, the 22 exploratory visits, and the many informal contacts with other WtW grantees provide a basis for four main observations, concerning:

  1. the administrative issues that had to be resolved by grantees in the first year of the program,
  2. the first-year logistical issues in the relationship between TANF agencies and WtW grant programs,
  3. the overall pace and level of enrollment achieved in the first year, and
  4. the kinds of service delivery innovations that are developing.

Early Implementation Involved Resolving a Variety of Administrative and Policy Issues

The WtW grants program, while fairly straightforward in its mission and intent, has some complex administrative provisions. For many grantees, some of these provisions, and the issues they posed, became a central focus of early program startup, and in some cases efforts to resolve these issues continued over much of the first year. Some of the administrative issues involved state distribution of funds, local grantee contracting procedures and the development of new service capacity, program reporting and concerns about audits, and decisions about how to apply complex WtW eligibility criteria.(11)

State Distribution of WtW Funds.  In some states, federal WtW formula funds were not available immediately to the local programs, although all state WtW agencies obligated funds to SDAs within 30 days of receiving federal award notification, as required by law. In most sites visited, it took about six months after local grantees were notified of their funding for them to enroll their first participants in a program activity. Some of this delay reflected decisions that had to be made at the state level, such as getting legislative authorization for funds required as a match for the formula grant.

Local Contracting Procedures.  Several procedural and administrative factors at the local level also had to be dealt with before programs could begin operating. For example, many PICs and SDAs decided to use competitive procurement procedures to select WtW service providers, just as they have for JTPA-funded services. The process of issuing requests for proposals, reviewing bids, selecting contractors, and negotiating contracts typically takes several months. The service delivery contracting process could not begin before the SDA had authority to spend the federal (and, usually, state) funds. If there was a delay at the state level in actually releasing funds, the local contracting process added more time to the operational start-up schedule.

Concerns About Reporting and Auditing.  PICs and SDAs are especially sensitive to federal reporting and financial requirements, and their administrators and board members take a cautious approach, to avoid audit exceptions that might arise from errors in determining eligibility and authorizing allowable expenditures.(12)  WtW program rules set specific eligibility criteria and limit

the circumstances under which education and training can be funded by the WtW grants. These rules raised many questions, and until they could be resolved, PICs and SDAs proceeded cautiously, to avoid the possibility of fiscal audit exceptions.

Building Capacity in New Service Deliverers.  Startup of WtW programs has been slow, in part because WtW funds in many sites are being used to develop entirely new programs. Many competitive grantees and subcontractors, particularly nonprofit CBOs, are developing new programs with the WtW funds, rather than using WtW funds to enhance or expand programs already operating with TANF or JTPA funds. Some grantees are not traditional JTPA or TANF contractors and are expanding their services or developing new ones specifically in response to the availability of WtW funds. Several of the grantees visited, for example, hired new staff, entered into leases for facilities, and developed special management information systems to run their WtW programs. Some grantees with multiple service provider contractors sponsored special technical assistance and training sessions for their providers, to help them start their operations.

Applying Complex Eligibility Criteria.  The complex eligibility criteria in the WtW legislation are the most common problem local program operators faced in the first year and, perhaps, the most important factor that has slowed implementation and limited overall enrollment to date. Grantees have encountered particular difficulties applying the criteria pertaining to long-term receipt of assistance and educational barriers to employment.

Individuals can be enrolled in WtW programs in the "70 percent category" as long-term welfare recipients only if it can be verified that they have received assistance for at least 30 months, a verification that has been difficult for many welfare agencies and WtW program administrators. Welfare agencies' data systems are still being restructured to allow efficient identification of an individual's lifetime cumulative receipt of benefits for TANF, which would allow verification of the 30-month criterion. Until that system capability is available, most local WtW programs must, instead, rely on welfare agencies' verification of the length of the current spell of benefits. As a result, some individuals who have received assistance for more than 30 months in multiple spells cannot conclusively be deemed eligible for WtW. This problem is one factor constricting the flow of entrants to WtW programs.

Enrollment problems and delays have also arisen from the eligibility criterion, in effect under the WtW legislation as originally enacted, that requires enrollees to lack both a high school diploma and adequate skills in math or reading. Individuals who have a diploma but lack basic skills have been ineligible for WtW services unless they have a substance abuse problem requiring treatment. This is the most common problem mentioned by local program administrators and staff in the exploratory site visits. In addition to preventing enrollment of some individuals, the education criterion delays enrollment of others. Individuals who lack a high school diploma must be tested to confirm their low skills, even when an initial assessment by the welfare agency or the WtW program has clearly determined that they have serious barriers to employment.

Staff in most of the 22 grantee organizations strongly believe that many individuals in their areas have serious barriers to employment and could benefit from the intensive services allowed under WtW, but do not meet the strict eligibility criteria in the original legislation. As some said, they "qualify under the spirit, but not the letter, of the law." Program staff and administrators expressed confidence that, if the education criteria for eligibility were modified, enrollment would increase.(13)

Logistical Issues Between TANF and WtW Grant Programs Had to Be Resolved

The exploratory site visits revealed that WtW grant programs interact with TANF agencies in a variety of ways, and that logistical issues arising from these interactions are still being resolved. These issues arise from the way in which WtW programs are expected to relate to the TANF program. WtW grant programs are intended to supplement, not duplicate, TANF work programs. They have to be implemented within the policy context of TANF work requirements and policies. While the WtW grant-funded programs are administered separately from TANF, their target populations overlap to a large extent. Cross-agency procedural issues have emerged concerning three related aspects of WtW operations: (1) referral of individuals from the TANF program to the WtW program, (2) outreach to the WtW eligible population, and (3) the specification of WtW services and program reporting to ensure that WtW participants are in compliance with TANF work requirements.

Referrals from TANF.  WtW grantees generally expect to get most of their participants by referral from TANF agencies, and many have been disappointed by the rate of referrals so far. The first grantee survey showed that 98 percent of grantees were expecting to get such referrals, and almost half expected to get 75 to 100 percent of their referrals from TANF agencies. Every one of the 22 grantees visited expects the TANF agency to be a primary source for recruitment, and, in a few sites, the only source. Grantees that depend heavily or exclusively on referrals from the TANF agency have received fewer referrals than they had anticipated or planned in collaboration with the TANF agency. These low referral rates could be the result of several factors.

One contributing factor perceived by staff in many of the WtW programs is the effect of performance goals for TANF work programs. Some grantee staff believe that staff responsible for TANF work programs  in the TANF agencies or the agencies' work program contractors  are reluctant to refer to outside programs because they must meet their own targets for enrollment, service delivery, and job placement. Although a contractor for a TANF work program could legitimately count as its enrollee someone it refers to the WtW program, the contractor could justifiably be concerned about whether it would be credited at all with the eventual job placement made though the WtW program. The exploratory visits identified instances in which such reluctance to "pass on" participants was evident. This concern is understandable, given the pressures program operators and their staff face to meet their program goals as TANF caseloads continue to decline.

Lack of information about WtW programs is also a factor in some instances. In some communities, the WtW grant program is only one of many programs available to TANF recipients, and even the WtW grant program may have a variety of activities or components. TANF staff often have incomplete information about programs in their community, or better information about one program than others. Several WtW program staff identified as one of their challenges the need to convey clearly to TANF staff how the WtW program differs in its intensity, duration, range of services, and supportiveness from other job readiness and job search programs in the community. Without a strong understanding of program differences, TANF staff may not consistently feel that the WtW program is the best option for TANF recipients, even when their serious employment barriers have been detected.

The fact that the normal path to WtW programs often leads through a TANF work program can also curb entries to the WtW program, even when TANF staff are ready to make referrals to it. In many of the 22 sites examined in the exploratory visits, up-front job search is required of TANF recipients, and only those who fail to find a job in that process are considered for referral to the WtW program. In today's strong economy, knowing that staying on TANF eats into their allowable lifetime months of assistance, some TANF recipients find a way to leave the rolls and enter employment rather than enter yet another program, even if it might improve their long-term employment and earnings prospects.

Outreach to the WtW-Eligible Population.  Many WtW programs take an active approach to recruiting participants, rather than simply relying on the TANF agency to provide a stream of referrals. In nearly all the sites visited, a common starting point for such recruitment is for the welfare agency to provide lists of TANF recipients whom the welfare agency considers eligible for WtW services. WtW staff or contracted service providers may then use the list to contact and attempt to recruit these recipients by mail, telephone, or in person.

Such lists are helpful, but often incomplete. In some places, the list does not include all TANF recipients eligible for WtW services. For example, the list may include only recipients whose current spell on welfare is longer than 30 months, or only those who are not exempt from the TANF work requirement, or only those who meet both conditions. Some state procedures, in effect, have modified WtW eligibility criteria to make them consistent with state welfare reform policies. The list of eligibles sent to WtW, for example, often consists of people the TANF agency will allow to participate in WtW as a means of complying with TANF work requirements. Other TANF recipients, however  such as persons exempt from TANF work requirements  may also be eligible for WtW even though they do not appear on the list. The lists TANF agencies send to WtW programs may thus be useful starting points for identifying eligible participants, but they are not exhaustive. Many WtW program administrators and staff are now conducting their own outreach, recruitment, and initial eligibility determination, as well as receiving referrals and lists from TANF agencies, in an effort to meet their WtW enrollment targets.

Ensuring Compliance with TANF Work Requirements.  Regardless of whether individuals enter WtW through referral from TANF or as a result of direct outreach, WtW programs and staff are particularly sensitive to TANF work requirements. Many of the programs we visited have been designed specifically to ensure that participants are in compliance with TANF work requirements. For example, if TANF policies require 30 hours of work activity a week, WtW program components consist of 30 hours a week of activity, such as work experience, that will be accepted by the TANF agency as complying with the work requirement. Supplemental services, such as education or skills development, are often provided as well, but the program's core WtW component has been structured to ensure that individuals who participate as required are not subject to TANF sanctions.

WtW programs also have to report to TANF agencies on their participants' activities to ensure that they avoid TANF sanctions. In all 22 sites, arrangements have been made for the WtW program to report participant activities and attendance back to the TANF agency. In places where the WtW program operator also has responsibility for the TANF work program, this reporting of compliance with the work requirement is done routinely for all TANF recipients, regardless of funding source.

The Pace of Implementation and the Enrollment Levels in the First Year Were Modest

The combined effect of the various administrative and operational issues described above is that the pace of implementation in the WtW grants program has been slower than program planners and federal policy makers anticipated. As a result, cumulative enrollment in local WtW programs was still modest when the exploratory visits were conducted (between December 1998 and July 1999). The 22 grantees had, at the time of the exploratory visits, enrolled an average of 171 participants each, ranging from four programs with fewer than 50 participants to two programs with more than 500 participants. Only one grantee  NSP-Works, in New York  had reached its planned enrollment level on the timetable set forth in its original plan.

The exploratory visits were conducted at a time when most of the grantees were still in the early stages of program startup. In some cases, the start-up process proved more complicated than expected, and grantees had to extend their planning or pilot stage to refine methods for client outreach, case management and tracking procedures, and program reporting and administration. Several grantees' programs had only just begun to enroll participants at the time of the visit, and four were still preparing to enroll their first participants soon after the visit. Subsequent informal contacts with some grantees revealed that enrollments had begun to pick up by summer 1999. The programs that had not enrolled participants at the time of the visit had begun to do so by summer, and some of the programs that had slow enrollment during their initial months of operations have reported that the pace of enrollment has improved. In most of the 22 grantee sites, however, it remains to be seen whether original targets for program enrollment will be reached.

Innovative Program Strategies Are Being Implemented

Despite slow startup and the early implementation issues that arose, many WtW grantees are developing program strategies that deserve attention and that go beyond traditional programs common in their communities. Especially noteworthy are the creative approaches of some grantees in three aspects of program design and implementation:

  1. extending services to populations of particular importance,
  2. providing postemployment services, and
  3. establishing partnerships with employers.

Targeting Special Populations.  Overall, the WtW grants program represents an important resource because the funding it provides and the services it supports are required to focus almost exclusively on individuals with the greatest barriers to employment. To be sure, programs have long existed that could serve the WtW target population, including general employment and training programs and AFDC and TANF work programs. In general, however, such programs were not designed specifically for people with severe and multiple employment barriers. To the extent such people participated, they could easily exhaust the standard resources offered by the programs, without reaching successful outcomes. These populations have been underserved in the past.

Some WtW subgroups, in particular, represent important extensions of the population for whom successful employment has become a program priority. Noncustodial parents, mainly fathers, are an important target group in the legislation authorizing the WtW grants, and their priority is evident in the programs being developed. The programs visited are still in the very early stages of serving noncustodial parents, but many are making progress in identifying their needs, learning about more (and less) effective ways to recruit fathers, and devising program activities in which fathers will participate. For example, by targeting men under supervision of probation and parole officers, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections program in Milwaukee hopes to achieve high participation rates at a critical juncture in the fathers' lives, to improve their employability, strengthen their ties to their children, and reduce recidivism. Other programs that are working with child support enforcement programs to target fathers are trying to strike a balance between the enforcement mission of child support and the employability development mission of WtW.

WtW grant programs and their experiences are likely to improve understanding of strategies for improving employability and employment success among people with physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities. Several grantees examined in the exploratory visits are working with vocational rehabilitation programs and organizations such as Goodwill Industries. Several WtW programs are developing strategies to reach out to homeless individuals, including both custodial and noncustodial parents.

Providing Longer-Term and Postemployment Services.  WtW grantees are generally viewing their services and their interaction with participants as extending over a considerably longer period than is true in other programs, for two reasons arising from the WtW legislation. First, the legislation specifies that grant funds can be used for education or skills training only after an individual enters employment. Some program administrators and staff complained about this restriction during the site visits, but many grantees have developed innovative approaches to provide training and education in conjunction with work. Several programs are subsidizing training in the workplace, and some are, in cooperation with employers, arranging education and training classes at worksites. In effect, these approaches make entry to a job not the end point for education and training, but potentially a starting point.

The legislation also encourages long-term services by specifying job retention services as an allowable use of grant funds, without imposing a time limit on such services to individual participants. JTPA programs, through the reporting required of them under performance standards, routinely maintain contact with individuals for 60 or 90 days after they enter employment. Many JTPA programs assist participants in various ways, if necessary, during that limited follow-up period. AFDC recipients were entitled to transitional child care and Medicaid for up to a year after leaving welfare for employment, and TANF continues transitional services, with many states extending them for longer periods of time. All these programs, however, have limited the duration of services.

Once enrolled in WtW grant programs, in contrast, participants retain eligibility indefinitely. All 22 grantees included in the exploratory visits have made a commitment to provide job retention services and help participants find subsequent jobs when necessary. Some of the programs limit their counseling and follow-up services to a specific period of time  such as six months, one year, or two years after entering employment.(14)  Even in these cases, however, the intensity of attention programs intend to pay to participants over that period goes beyond what was possible under previous program protocols. Some programs go further by continuing to provide assistance to their participants for as long as the program is funded.

Establishing Partnerships with Employers.  A third area of innovation in WtW programs is the development of various types of partnerships with private employers and businesses. Several of the 22 grantees have developed arrangements that include employer commitments to hire WtW participants who complete certain program activities. The more creative, work-based partnerships go beyond simply identifying potential job openings; they also involve businesses in designing internships and occupationally focused work experience assignments. The Full Employment Council, Inc., in Kansas City, for example, has adopted an approach that combines employer wage subsidies with incentives to retain employees and upgrade their skills.

The continuing strong economy provides an ideal environment for testing such partnerships between employers and public programs. Difficulty in hiring entry-level employees has encouraged many employers to view such partnerships as a potentially fruitful way to develop the labor force they need for current operations and future expansion. The mutual benefits to be gained by grantees and employers thus offer an important chance to refine some of the creative administrative and service strategies inherent in these partnerships and, more broadly, in WtW programs of all kinds, to improve the employment skills of the hardest-to-employ individuals.

These programs are attempting to go beyond current welfare recipients and serve the general low-skilled working population  an aim that entails new challenges for many of the agencies involved. Noncustodial parents are an important target population, but referral systems and outreach networks for this population either had not existed before the WtW grant programs started or, if they did exist, were unfamiliar to many program operators. WtW grants provide funds for substantial services beyond job placement, and thus challenge grantees to create systems for ongoing employment-related services to low-skilled working parents to help them sustain their employment and advance.

The WtW grants program, in these and other ways, requires major system change for successful implementation, perhaps even greater and more time-consuming than could have been anticipated when the WtW legislation was authorized for fiscal years 1998 and 1999. The structure of the WtW grants program was designed to draw from both the labor market and employment expertise of the workforce development system and the social services and welfare knowledge found in the TANF system. Capitalizing on the strengths of each system requires close coordination of administration and service delivery, to identify eligible participants, verify their eligibility, ensure that they receive services, and track their progress. The preliminary site visits suggest that, overall, the WtW grants program is having a positive effect on coordination, but not without difficulty. Coordination takes time, both to establish logistics and to maintain communications.

In summary, implementing the WtW grants program is complex in many ways beyond the widely reported difficulties resulting from the stringent eligibility criteria. While implementation of the programs proceeded modestly in the first year, examples of promising strategies are emerging in the field as programs design new approaches to target hard-to-serve groups, serve noncustodial parents, address job retention issues, and improve coordination between welfare and workforce development agencies. The exploratory visits discussed in this report suggest that many grantees have developed programs that show promise, but their efforts to make the complex programmatic and systemic changes required to carry out their challenging mission will take time. Subsequent components of the evaluation will examine implementation progress in more detail over the next year, through in-depth field work and analysis of services to participants in selected sites.


Perez-Johnson, Irma, and Alan M. Hershey.  "Early Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program:  Report to Congress."  Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.  Princeton, NJ, March 1999.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Administration for Children and Families.  "Change in Welfare Caseloads"  [], November 1, 1999.


1.  This requirement reached 35 percent in FY 1999 and 40 percent for FY 2000.

2.  At the time of this report, Congress had just recently acted, in the FY 2000 appropriation for the Department of Labor, to broaden eligibility criteria and thus allow programs to serve more categories of hard-to-employ individuals with WtW funds.

3.  Under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, new WIBs will replace PICs and WDBs, thus providing states with a means for coordinating workforce investment, adult education and literacy, and vocational rehabilitation services through One-Stop Centers.

4.  Exploratory telephone calls were also made to 80 local program grantees, as part of the process of identifying the sites that were visited. This report is based on information from 22 sites; a twenty-third exploratory visit (to Denver) was conducted after the analysis for this report was completed and is, therefore, not included in the discussions.

5.  The Round 1 competitive grantees and the FY 1998 formula programs were included in the grantee survey that formed the basis for the earlier March 1999 report to Congress (Perez-Johnson and Hershey 1999). The timing of the award of the Round 2 competitive grants meant that they could not be included in the first grantee survey. This report is based on Round 1 and Round 2 competitive grants and FY 1998 formula programs.

6.  Six states (Idaho, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) declined WtW formula funding for FY 1998. Two more (Arizona and North Dakota) declined funding for FY 1999.

7.  Six state-level grantees have received such waivers for some or all of their substate jurisdictions: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico.

8.  It is possible that some of these SDAs are receiving WtW funds indirectly  for example, as a subcontractor to a competitive grantee in their community  but it was not possible to identify such arrangements through the plans and applications.

9.  Brief profiles of each of the 22 grantee programs are presented in Appendix D.

10.  Even in these cases, however, WtW participants may already have been through a job search program operated by the TANF program.

11.  This analysis refers to the eligibility provisions as they existed in the original legislation authorizing WtW, before the amendments enacted in late 1999.

12.  This caution reflects the fact that, under most DOL programs, if a federal audit of the program identifies an individual whose eligibility cannot be verified, the administering agency must repay 100 percent of federal dollars spent on that person. Other federal agencies, including DHHS, apply tolerance levels for error cases before states or localities are required to reimburse the federal government.

13.  Eligibility criteria have been changed by provisions of Title VIII of H.R. 3424, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000. That title contains the "Welfare-to-Work and Child Support Amendments of 1999." How quickly these changes will affect program operations remains unclear.

14.  The length of postemployment services, however, is limited to the overall three-year period in which the WtW funds can be spent.

APPENDIX A: Distribution of Welfare-to-work Grant Funds, by State and Territory

State Total Amount of Welfare-to-Work Funds Allocated Formula Funds Allocated, FY1998 Formula Funds Allocated, FY1999 Competitive Funds Allocated, Round 1 Competitive Funds Allocated, Round 2 Competitive Funds Allocated, Round 3
Total 2,457,553,565 1,034,205,826 945,532,260 198,756,472 279,059,007 222,278,872
Alabama 36,207,765 13,977,955 13,016,958 5,489,232 3,723,620 8,273,418
Alaska 8,164,770 2,926,500 2,708,771 1,250,000 1,279,499 123,810
Arizona 27,080,630 17,417,668 declined funding 5,982,532 3,680,430 3,191,955
Arkansas 22,996,638 8,490,290 7,931,847 5,000,000 1,574,501 2,396,865
California 433,436,162 190,417,247 177,227,536 38,613,398 27,177,981 18,958,665
Colorado 27,028,619 9,878,865 9,213,801 1,460,864 6,475,089 3,053,968
Connecticut 33,105,117 12,005,943 11,183,704 5,491,266 4,424,204 1,856,395
Delaware 5,336,250 2,761,875 2,574,375 0 0 0
District of Columbia 19,028,768 4,646,445 4,326,763 3,095,744 6,959,816 21,143,313
Florida 115,396,242 50,756,512 47,414,039 3,360,520 13,865,171 1,832,910
Georgia 71,804,709 28,409,496 26,489,122 10,392,857 6,513,234 2,324,726
Hawaii 14,004,142 5,085,523 4,718,619 0 4,200,000 3,366,000
Idaho 0 declined funding declined funding 0 0 0
Illinois 119,285,972 48,662,838 45,324,088 11,922,295 13,376,751 9,792,500
Indiana 44,705,340 14,552,407 13,578,432 10,000,000 6,574,501 2,183,497
Iowa 18,728,524 8,331,799 7,778,836 0 2,617,889 0
Kansas 14,870,646 6,668,399 6,202,330 0 1,999,917 3,767,968
Kentucky 42,298,402 17,722,913 16,520,839 4,999,898 3,054,752 0
Louisiana 51,119,801 23,707,338 22,112,662 0 5,299,801 9,878,761
Maine 13,672,976 5,156,417 4,804,389 0 3,712,170 2,291,225
Maryland 40,057,988 14,940,556 13,914,682 842,294 10,360,456 3,044,457
Massachusetts 49,403,579 20,692,295 19,260,350 4,474,922 4,976,012 1,544,699
Michigan 87,028,446 42,226,331 39,345,466 5,235,633 221,016 0
Minnesota 34,935,601 14,503,409 13,537,096 884,123 6,010,973 7,259,618
Mississippi 3,294,191 declined funding declined funding 0 3,294,191 1,565,330
Missouri 49,645,167 19,767,398 18,431,857 2,035,714 9,410,198 1,904,689
Montana 8,711,923 3,194,443 2,974,780 0 2,542,700 0
Nebraska 7,784,626 4,021,585 3,763,041 0 0 2,581,222
Nevada 7,557,531 3,384,072 3,384,072 568,371 221,016 0
New Hampshire 6,523,750 2,761,875 2,761,875 0 1,000,000 0
New Jersey 67,431,498 23,257,092 21,708,979 9,914,297 12,551,130 3,098,695
New Mexico 25,117,689 9,715,600 9,058,956 1,343,133 5,000,000 5,000,000
New York 214,979,380 96,886,094 90,323,582 11,293,212 16,476,492 35,343,610
North Carolina 60,013,469 25,332,173 23,633,882 2,846,969 8,200,445 1,086,006
North Dakota 3,154,732 2,761,875 declined funding 392,857 0 0
Ohio 15,749,373 declined funding declined funding 7,380,743 8,368,630 8,769,028
Oklahoma 25,509,754 11,741,519 10,920,120 0 2,848,115 5,899,249
Oregon 20,295,512 8,636,930 8,084,329 1,741,266 1,832,987 0
Pennsylvania 100,636,524 44,295,711 41,358,070 9,210,564 5,772,179 8,469,800
Rhode Island 12,888,279 4,419,858 4,109,483 0 4,358,938 0
South Carolina 23,113,797 12,006,432 11,107,365 0 0 6,762,015
South Dakota 2,293,326 declined funding declined funding 0 2,293,326 0
Tennessee 53,508,869 21,643,975 20,214,627 1,229,152 10,421,115 7,082,698
Texas 169,935,305 76,058,852 70,934,274 10,692,543 12,249,636 19,427,852
Utah 3,000,000 declined funding declined funding 0 3,000,000 1,667,476
Vermont 11,588,908 2,761,875 2,574,375 3,132,518 3,120,140 0
Virginia 48,744,320 16,548,621 15,404,150 10,486,758 6,304,791 0
Washington 56,430,268 22,674,526 21,143,201 2,992,857 9,619,684 3,172,132
West Virginia 23,883,798 9,805,500 9,143,422 0 4,934,876 0
Wisconsin 29,918,073 12,885,951 12,032,182 4,999,940 0 4,164,320
Wyoming 0 declined funding declined funding 0 0 0
Puerto Rico 73,946,219 34,566,095 32,219,489 0 7,160,635 0
Virgin Islands 1,069,425 553,501 515,924 0 0 0
Guam 1,130,772 585,252 545,520 0 0 0
Sources:  FY98 and FY99 Welfare-to-Work State Formula Grants, Awarded as of September 28, 1999; Final Planning Estimates, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

APPENDIX B: Summary Characteristics of 22 Selected Local Welfare-to-work Grant Programs

Grantee/SDA Urbanicity Type of WtW Type of Agency Unemployment Rate as of March 1999 Type of Program Program Scale
Competitive­Round Formula 15% Employer Partnership Models Enhanced Public Service/ Supportive Work Experience Other/ General Program (Planned number of participants)
Economic Development Industrial Corp. (Boston, MA) Urban   X   SDA 2.7 X X   800
The Workplace, Inc. (Bridgeport, CT) Urban 1     Non-Profit/ CBO 4.1 X     500
Consortium for Worker Education (New York, NY) Urban 1     Non-Profit/ CBO 6.3 X   X 725
Non-Profit Assistance Corporation (New York, NY) Urban 1     Non-Profit/ CBO 6.3   X Neighborhoods 800
Philadelphia PIC Inc., Transitional Work Corporation (Philadelphia, PA) Urban 1 X X SDA and Non-Profit 4.1   X X 1,090
Human Resources Development Foundation (Morgantown, WV) Rural 2     Non-Profit/ CBO Multisite   X   510
Nashville Career Advancement Center (Nashville, TN) Urban 2 X   SDA 2.7     Satellite one-stop career centers at employment sites 1,875
Private Industry Council For Memphis, Shelby, and Fayette Counties (Memphis, TN) Urban   X   SDA 3.4   X X 2000 to 3000
United Way of Central Alabama Planning and Agency Relations (Birmingham, AL) Medium 1     Non-Profit/ CBO 2.5     Neighborhoods 1,000
DePaul University (Chicago, IL) Urban 1     University 3.8 X   X 3,560
Michigan WORKS! Agency, City of Detroit Employment and Training Department (Detroit, MI) Urban 1 X   SDA 3.8   X   1,700
River Valley Resources (18 Counties, IN) Medium 1 X   SDA Multisite     X 750
Wisconsin Department of Corrections (Milwaukee, WI) Urban   X X Corrections 3.4   X X 400
Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board (Dallas, TX) Urban 2 X   SDA 2.8     Neighborhoods 950
Gulf Coast Houston­Galveston JTPA Programs (Houston, TX) Urban 1 X   SDA 4.0   X X 350 to 400
Tarrant County, The Workforce Network (Fort Worth, TX) Urban 2 X   SDA 2.9     Neighborhoods 600
SDAs 3 & 12: Full Employment Council, Inc. (Kansas City, MO) Urban 2 X   SDA 3.0     Neighborhoods 805
Denver Welfare-to-Work Project: Mayor's Office of Employment and Training (Denver, CO) Urban 2     SDA 2.3   X X 120
Los Angeles County PIC (Los Angeles, CA) Urban 1 X   SDA 6.4       1,625
San Francisco PIC (San Francisco, CA) Urban 1 X   SDA 2.6   X Neighborhoods 1,008
Southern Nevada SDA, Nevada Business Services (Las Vegas, NV) Rural   X   SDA 3.4     X 290
City of Phoenix Human Service Department (Phoenix, AZ) Urban 1 X   SDA 2.8 X     1,600
Tri-Valley Consortium Private Industry Council (Yakima, WA) Medium   X   SDA 3.4     X 350 to 400
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, Exploratory Site Visits.

APPENDIX C: Extent of Enhanced Work Experience in 22 Selected Local Welfare-to-Work Grant Programs

Grantee/SDA Program Focuses Primarily on Enhanced Work Experience Program Offers Enhanced Work Experience But Not As Primary Strategy Program Does Not Provide Enhanced Work Experience
Economic Development Industrial Corp. (Boston, MA) X    
The Workplace, Inc. (Bridgeport, CT)   X  
Consortium for Worker Education (New York, NY) X    
Non-Profit Assistance Corporation (New York, NY) X    
Philadelphia PIC Inc., Transitional Work Corporation (Philadelphia, PA) X    
Human Resources Development Foundation (Morgantown, WV)   X  
Nashville Career Advancement Center (Nashville, TN)   X  
Private Industry Council For Memphis, Shelby, and Fayette Counties (Memphis, TN)   X  
United Way of Central Alabama Planning and Agency Relations (Birmingham, AL)   X  
DePaul University (Chicago, IL) X    
Michigan WORKS! Agency, City of Detroit Employment and Training Department (Detroit, MI) X    
River Valley Resources (18 Counties, IN) X    
Wisconsin Department of Corrections (Milwaukee, WI)   X  
Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board (Dallas, TX)     X
Gulf Coast Houston-Galveston JTPA Programs (Houston, TX)   X  
Tarrant County, The Workforce Network (Fort Worth, TX)   X  
SDAs 3 & 12: Full Employment Council, Inc. (Kansas City, MO)   X  
Los Angeles County PIC (Los Angeles, CA)     X
San Francisco PIC (San Francisco, CA)   X  
Southern Nevada SDA, Nevada Business Services (Las Vegas, NV)   X  
City of Phoenix Human Service Department (Phoenix, AZ)   X  
Tri-Valley Consortium Private Industry Council (Yakima, WA)   X  
Source:  National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, Exploratory Site Visits.

Appendix D: Profiles of 22 Selected Local Welfare-to-Work Grant Programs

Grantee:  Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC) Office of Jobs and Community Services (JCS)

Location:  Boston, MA

Funding:  $5.9 million Formula Funds for FY98

Organization:  JCS, in EDIC, an agency reporting to the Mayor, is the JTPA SDA for the city (as distinct from the separately incorporated Boston PIC). JCS and the PIC (within the Regional Employment Board) designed the WtW programs to operate in conjunction with the 3 one-stop Career Centers in Boston.

WtW Program(s):  EDIC/JCS operates two WtW program types: 7 pre-employment preparation Employer Partner Programs (EPP) and 2 occupation-based Enhanced Community Service Programs (ECS).

The EPPs prepares welfare recipients for entry-level jobs that are in demand and which have some potential for upgrading skills and employment. JCS collaborates with specific employers/businesses that actively design and implement each program and make a commitment to hire those who complete the program. Each participating employer has a non-profit organization partner which is responsible for case-management. The EPPs operate in cycles of 4-6 weeks (determined by the employer) of occupation- specific pre-employment preparation classes, followed by 4 weeks of workplace-based work experience/internship. (Marriott Corp., Benjamin Health Care, Partners Health Care, U.S. Trust Corp., TJMaxx, Caritas- Christi Health, and a employer collaborative that includes hotels, hospitals, and neighborhood groups.)

The ECSs, operated by two community-based organizations, provide a more structured, work experience-type assignment (approximately 3-6 months long) for individuals with weaker employment skills. ECS assignments are also occupation-specific, designed as community service assignments combined with enhanced activities (e.g., basic skills) as appropriate.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles

Special Feature(s):  Major role for local business partners (Marriott Corp.; Benjamin Health Care; Partners Health Care; U.S.Trust Corp.; TJMaxx; Caritas-Christi Health; and a collaborative that includes hotels, hospitals and neighborhood organizations); and for non-profit service providers (Jewish Vocational Services, Action for Boston Community Development, Morgan Memorial Goodwill, Caritas-Christi Health).

Grantee:  The Workplace, Incorporated

Location:  Bridgeport, CT

Funding:  $1.5 million Formula Funds for FY98 and $5 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The Workplace, Inc. (TWI) is the workforce development board (formerly the PIC) for Connecticuts southwestern region. It serves a 20-town area, including the cities of Bridgeport, Derby, Greenwich, Norwalk, and Stamford. TWI oversees the operation of 15 WtW programs across this service area.

WtW Program(s):  WtW grant funds support two types of programs. Collectively, the programs emphasize job retention and the attainment of occupational as well as softer life skills. A high support model, combines an initial psycho-social assessment and case management with a variety of supported work opportunities. WtW clients enrolled in this program also receive job readiness classes, and placement and retention services. This program model was operating at three sites (Bridgeport, Stamford, and Derby) as of May 1999. The local initiatives model consists of a collection of local projects in 4 localities, each of which targets specific sub-populations (e.g., public housing residents, substance abusers, persons with limited literacy, and noncustodial fathers), especially those with serious employment problems.

Some of the services offered include: job placement programs, family mentoring, and mental health and substance abuse counseling, job placement, career ladders, and job retention services. Responsibility for administering these services falls to 8 contractors. Overall, TWIs WtW programs are designed to reassure employers that WtW participants will obtain the support they need to enter and succeed in the labor market.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles with specific programs targeting noncustodial parents, chemically dependent individuals, and public housing residents.

Special Feature(s):  Fifteen fairly separate programs, most focusing on participants with serious problems. The High Support Model employs professional case workers to provide intensive case management and counseling services to WtW participants.

Grantee:  Consortium for Worker Education (CWE)

Location:  New York , NY

Funding:  $5 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:  CWE, a non-profit education and training agency established and supported by NYC labor unions, developed the Satellite Child Care Program (SCCP). To implement, expand and manage the SCCP, CWE created a subsidiary organization, Satellite Child Care, Inc. (SSCI).

WtW Program(s):  The SCCP is funded by the WtW grants and has two objectives: (1) to increase the supply of quality child care available to low-income neighborhoods; and (2) to train WtW-eligible individuals to be satellite child care providers--salaried employees caring for four children each. SSCI has 10 contractors who prepare participants to become child care providers through classroom training and work experience. Contractors are responsible for outreach and intake, monitoring clients progress, and providing training (both in the classroom and in child-care centers). The screening of applicants is rigorous; potential participants must: pass a home inspection and a drug test; not have any relatives in the state child abuse data base; pass a criminal background check; and pass a medical examination.

Participants then receive two weeks of vocational job readiness to further determine if they are responsible enough to be child care providers and provide pre-employment preparation. Participants who complete this stage are then placed in a 16 week internship. Each week of this internship entails 3 days of work experience at a child care center and 2 days of classroom training. In order to become an independent provider, the individual must meet all city requirements for registration of family day care providers and pass a subsequent home inspection. Once a participant has completed all preparation, training, and registration requirements, she is hired by the SCCI as a satellite child care provider and is paid a union-scale salary of $18,200 a year plus benefits and union membership.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles are screened, but there are some special requirements for child care occupations, as noted above.

Special Feature(s):  Expanding the availability of quality child care; creating relatively high-paying, unionized jobs as satellite providers affiliated with day care centers. Intensive preparation, internship, and on-going support, including in-home computers and on-line training and support groups.

Grantee:  Non-Profit Assistance Corporation (N-Pac)

Location:  New York , NY

Funding:  $4.9 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The Non-Profit Assistance Corporation, affiliated with Seedco, a non- profit community development organization, received competitive funds to operate the Neighborhood Strategies Project Works Program (NSP Works). NSP Works is managed by N-Pac, with three neighborhood-based non-profits contracted to operate the program in the Bronx, the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and Washington Heights/Inman.

WtW Program(s):  The first step in the NSP Works program is to provide clients with two weeks of up-front job readiness workshops. If the client does not find a job during this period, he/she is placed in simulated work for 35 hours per week. This component involves 20 hours per week at an internship and 15 hours of education/skills training. Many of the internships are either at the program office or with one of the non- profits serving as sub-contractors to N-Pac. The educational component is offered at each of the three program sites, with instruction by New York City Board of Education teachers. Skills training is also offered at all three sites and is funded by JTPA funds. Participants in the program also receive ongoing case management and career development support for two years after the date of enrollment.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles. However, the non-profit service providers operate and recruit in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations, therefore NSP participants are primarily limited English-speaking TANF recipients.

Special Feature(s):  Strong central management and administrative procedures by Seedco/N-Pac, combined with strong local neighborhood-based service. Unique target group of limited English-speaking participants.

Grantee:  Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation (PWDC) Transitional Work Corporation (TWC)

Location:  Philadelphia, PA

Funding:  FY98 Formula Funds (PWDC and TWC) and private funding (TWC)

Organization:  The WtW program in Philadelphia--Greater Philadelphia Works--is administered by PWDC. Regional Service Centers and the Transitional Work Corporation provide the infrastructure for the Greater Philadelphia Works program. The Regional Service Centers, located in different areas of Philadelphia, offer job readiness and job search services. The TWC is a newly established non-profit organization specifically created to manage a new temporary employment program called Philadelphia @Work.

WtW Program(s):  Welfare recipients nearing the 2 year work-trigger time limit may receive job search/job readiness assistance through the Regional Services Centers. Those with little to no work experience and unable to find unsubsidized employment may participate in TWCs temporary employment program. TWC participants work in temporary jobs for 25 hours per week, for up to six months while earning $5.15 per hour. In addition to work, TWC participants also engage in 10 hours of training each week focused on remediation and skills upgrading. Upon completing a temporary work assignment, TWC participants are referred back to a RSC for job placement services. PWDC has also received a WtW Round I competitive grant that targets teens and noncustodial fathers.

Target Population(s):  TWC targets eligible WtW clients nearing the two year work requirement time limit with little to no work experience.

Special Feature(s):  TWC provides up to $400 to participants in the form of employment retention bonuses. Employers/supervisors of TWC clients receive $50 a month per client they employ.

Grantee:  Human Resources Development Foundation (HRDF), Incorporated

Location:  Morgantown, WV

Funding:  $500,000 in Formula Funds and $4.9 million Round 2 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The Human Resource Development Foundation, Inc. a private, non- profit corporation is responsible for the designing and implementation of the WtW-funded Comprehensive Employment Program (CEP) across 29 counties. The service area includes mostly rural areas and small towns.

WtW Program(s):  The program provides assessment/case management services, a 4- week orientation/job readiness workshop, followed by occupational exploration, work experience, job placement assistance, skills enhancement, and a wide range of supportive services. Two major components of the program are job retention and advancement. To ensure that clients receive these services, HRDFs design includes: wage supplements; employment incentive payments; and ongoing job support provided by mentors and HRDF staff. Participants receive a stipend of $1.60 per hour beginning in the 4-week job readiness, and the program was planning to supplement wages of persons who enter low-wage jobs.

All of the above services are offered at 6 service hubs located throughout the state, with each hub serving between 3 and 7 counties. Due to the remoteness of much of the service area, an emphasis has been placed on providing clients with transportation to and from service centers.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles

Special Feature(s):  Providing transportation enabling clients to get to one of the 6 program hubs for services. Stipends and wage supplements are integral to the program.

Grantee:  Nashville Career Advancement Center (NCAC)

Location:  Nashville, TN

Funding:  $2.6 million Formula Funds and $4.1 million Round 2 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The Nashville Career Advancement Center is responsible for administering the areas WtW formula grant as well as a Round 2 competitive grant, the latter in partnership with Catholic Charities of Tennessee, the Salvation Army and the Metro Transit Authority. The WtW program is closely connected to the Tennessee Department of Human Services and its TANF work program, called Families First (operated through 4 consortia of local community-based organizations). NCAC is the lead agency for one of these consortia, which also includes the metropolitan housing authority (MDHA) and Nashville Technical Institute. TN DHS/Families First is the primary source of participant referrals to the WtW program.

WtW Program(s):  The WtW program, called Pathways, is based on the Project Match model. It is designed to help eligible WtW participants find and keep employment by emphasizing a supportive, peer-group environment. This environment is created through a series of regular monthly meetings. A key program feature is the dispensation from the welfare agency that allows Pathways participants to count family-related tasks and volunteer work as work activities consistent with a required Personal Responsibility Plan. Pathways services are highly individualized, and include counseling, job-coaching, job readiness and various supportive services.

Target Population(s):  Main target group is all WtW eligibles; program hopes to also recruit some noncustodial parents.

Special Feature(s):  The Pathways program is, comparatively, an intensive, labor-intensive, and very individualized model. It is being implemented in a way that has the potential to replicate the model across all of Nashville, and thus represents an unusual attempt to bring an intensive model up to substantial scale by developing an extensive contractor infrastructure.

Grantee:  Private Industry Council for Memphis, Shelby, and Fayette Counties

Location:  Memphis, TN

Funding:  $6.8 million Formula Funds with $4 million of this to be used over the period 4/98 - 9/99.

Organization:  The PIC for Memphis, Shelby and Fayette Counties administers funds for employment and training services including WtW formula funds. Seven area community based organizations were selected by the PIC to receive WtW funding. Potential participants are referred to WtW program staff at the PIC by either DHS staff, or by other local service providers.

WtW Program(s):  WtW funds are used to provide a wide variety of services for WtW participants, including both enhancements of existing services as well as entirely new, more targeted programs. PIC WtW staff conduct eligibility review and determine appropriate referrals to contract service providers. Contractors offer a range of services including intake, on-going case management, job readiness, job placement, work experience, OJT, community service, post-employment, job retention and supportive services. Some contractors focus on specific occupations or skills (e.g., construction, cable installation, computer training).

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles; some contractors target particular groups such as noncustodial parents, substance abusers, or homeless individuals.

Special Feature(s):  One contractor program, targeting noncustodial parents, takes a unique

approach. In addition to the extensive services offered to address the unique needs of noncustodial parents, this organization also administers fee-for-service programs with about 150 local businesses in which they recruit, screen and place employees with employers and pay them through their own payroll. They also conduct training programs to teach employers how to work with and address the needs of former welfare clients who are new employees.

Grantee:  United Way of Central Alabama

Location:  Birmingham, AL

Funding:  $5 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:The United Way of Central Alabama is responsible for the implementation of Birmingham Works. The Jefferson County Department of Human Resources refers potential participants to the United Way. Services are provided through five neighborhood service centers which allow services to be provide to participants nearer their homes and places of employment.

WtW Program(s):  Birmingham Works employs a work-first model. This program emphasizes intensive case management to determine barriers to employment and prepare individuals to enter unsubsidized employment. Once placed in a job, job coaches work close with participants and employers. They offer participants extensive support services to promote job retention. Job coaches also serve as a resource for employers who are experiencing difficulties with an WtW participant. Other components of Birmingham Works include proactive job development resulting in a database of employment opportunities available to WtW eligible clients, and strong coordination with private employers and community partners.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles

Special Feature(s):  The Birmingham Works WtW grant was the outgrowth of a coordinated effort to plan services in Jefferson County. Intensive case management and job coaching services also distinguish this program. Further, proactive job development has resulted in an extensive database of job placement opportunities and fosters positive relationships between program staff and employers.

Grantee:  DePaul University

Location:  Chicago, IL

Funding:  $5 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:The Office of Applied Innovations (OAI) of DePaul University is the administering agency for this grant.

WtW Program(s):  OAI is using WtW funds to oversee and facilitate a collaborative effort with several community organizations to undertake job creation and community development activities as well as assist welfare recipients in preparing for, obtaining, and retaining jobs. Each of the collaborating organizations plan to work together to create a common client tracking system and provide integrated intake for all of the partner programs. Three programs are operated by OAI using WtW funds: the Hospitality Occupational Skills Training Program (HOST), which trains workers and provides internships in the hospitality industry; Community Kitchens, a culinary arts training program; and Developing Employment Opportunity, which serves ex-offenders. All three training programs are offered in English and Spanish.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles

Special Feature(s):  In the HOST program, DePaul has used WtW funds to create a program that takes the fact that they are working with harder-to-serve clients into account. This entails more of a focus on initial preparation and follow-up to ensure that current participants find and keep employment. DePaul also has a staff person for community and industry relations. This individual works with the partners in their collaborative as well as with employers in the community and trade associations to market a positive image and to develop new business and employment opportunities.

Grantee:  Michigan WORKS! Agency, City of Detroit Employment and Training Department

Location:  Detroit, MI

Funding:  $4.9 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:The City of Detroit Employment and Training Department, the JTPA SDA, is responsible for the design and implementation of a WtW initiative closely coordinated with the states TANF-funded Work First program. Four local TANF offices serve as the primary source of referrals. Services are provided by 8 WtW contractors, some of which are also TANF work program service providers.

WtW Program(s):  The WtW program features a strong emphasis on placing participants in subsidized jobswhat are termed public sector employment (PSE) jobs. PSE slots are temporary positions (for up to 6 months) at public or private sector employers, in which the full wage for the participant is subsidized. Employers are recruited by contractors to set aside positions specifically for WtW participants. Program services also include assessment/case management, job readiness workshops, job development and placement assistance, skills enhancement, and a wide range of supportive services (with special emphasis on child care and transportation).

Target Population(s):  The program serves all WtW eligibles and plans to serve noncustodial parents as well.

Special Feature(s):  The major distinguishing feature of this project is its reliance on subsidized employment.

Grantee:  River Valley Resources (RVR), Inc.

Location:  Decatur County, IN

Funding:  $1 million Formula Funds this year and next and $5 million Round 1 Competitive Funds for use in the 19 county RVR service area

Organization:  River Valley Resources is service delivery entity for JTPA and other employment programs in a largely rural, 19 county area of Southeastern Indiana. Additionally, in Decatur County, River Valley Resources serves as the sole contractor service provider for the TANF work program and plays an integral role in local service planning bodies.

WtW Program(s):  This program seeks to initially place WtW eligible TANF clients into either of two subsidized positions: work experience or job creation. Work experience is intended to provide an opportunity for a WtW eligible individual to obtain employment in an existing position. Job creation positions are intended to be new jobs created for the purpose of employing a WtW eligible individual. Both types of positions are subsidized and it is the expectation that after a probationary work period, employers will take clients on as unsubsidized employees. Staff of RVR in Decatur County also provide clients with intensive case management throughout and beyond the period of subsidized employment.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles

Special Feature(s):  A high level of community support and involvement regarding helping families in welfare exists in Decatur County. Employers are active members of service planning bodies and are anxious to employ and support WtW participants.

Grantee:  Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC)

Location:  Milwaukee, WI

Funding:  $1 million of the states 15% Discretionary Funds, matched with $800,000 from DOC.

Organization:  The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) is responsible for the design and implementation of the Non-Traditional Opportunities for Work (NOW) Program in Milwaukee County.

WtW Program(s):  The NOW program serves WtW-eligible noncustodial fathers who are under supervision of DOC. The program seeks to first enhance employability, job retention, and capacity to pay child support. The program has a further goal of re-connecting noncustodial fathers with their children and to enhance parenting skills. DOC probation and parole agents do assessment, serve as case managers, and refer participants to Wisconsin Works (W-2) agencies. NOW participants then receive a comprehensive range of services, through local W-2 agencies including job search/placement assistance, subsidized employment, job retention services, post-employment education and training services, parenting skills development workshops, child support and visitation mediation, and a long list of support services.

Target Population(s):  The programs target population is probationers and parolees in the community and inmates in minimum security correction centers nearing release who are noncustodial fathers meeting WtW eligibility criteria.

Special Feature(s):  Program focuses on a group that faces substantial barriers to employment and has traditionally received little assistance from the welfare system. The program also seeks to instill some sense of parental responsibility in these men in order to reconnect them to their families. Fairly unique is that the program is developing linkages among the corrections system, child support enforcement, and W-2 agencies.

Grantee:  Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board

Location:  Dallas, TX

Funding:$5 million Formula Funds and $5 million Round 2 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The Dallas County Workforce Development Board is responsible for establishing Project ACCESS (Accessible Community Collaboration Employment Service System). Services are delivered through a network of more than 20 contract service providers. Referrals are received from the TANF work program CHOICES, operated by Lockheed Martin in one-stop centers.

WtW Program(s):  The Board plans to provide a comprehensive range of employment, training, and case management services through a network of service providers. Each service provider is implementing their own approach with the common goals of promoting employment, job retention, skills upgrading, and long-term self-sufficiency for WtW eligibles. An important aim of Project ACCESS is to enroll TANF recipients in WtW while they are still participating in CHOICES (Texas TANF employment program) so that once terminated from TANF, these individuals can continue to receive extended case management, job retention and placement services, skills upgrading, and support services

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles; some contractors target sub-populations such as individuals living in public housing and Section 8 assisted housing units.

Special Feature(s):  The Dallas County Workforce Development Board has an extensive network of subcontracted service providers. Their close linkage with local housing authorities offers a distinctive approach.

Grantee:  Houston Works

Location:  Houston, TX

Funding:  $1.9 million Formula Funds and $5 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:  Houston Works is a non-profit organization that serves as a subcontractor to the Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC; the local workforce development board). In this subcontracting role, Houston Works operates service centers through which JTPA, CHOICES (Texas TANF work program) and other program services are provided. For the purposes of WtW, Houston Works has contracted with a network of seven community-based service providers.

WtW Program(s):  Although each WtW service provider employs a slightly different approach, WtW programs are intended to provide a comprehensive range of assessment, case management, job placement assistance, post- employment education and training services, and support services. The WtW-funded services are intended to promote employment, job retention, and long-term self-sufficiency of WtW eligibles.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles. Different subcontract service providers build on expertise with different sub-populations such as immigrants and public housing residents. The program anticipates that about a third of its participants will be noncustodial fathers.

Special Feature(s):  As a provider of CHOICES services, Houston Works will have ready access to WtW eligible participants to be referred to WtW service providers.

Grantee:  Tarrant County, The Workforce Network

Location:  Fort Worth, TX

Funding:  $2.5 million Formula Funds per year for 3 years, $3.2 million Round 2 Competitive Funds, and $2.5 million in CHOICES/JOBS Funds

Organization:  The Tarrant County Workforce Development Board, also referred to as Work Advantage, administers funds for employment and training services to residents of Tarrant County, including the cities of Forth Worth and Arlington. Work Advantage administers CHOICES (Texas TANF work program) and WIA funds.

WtW Program(s):  The formula and competitive grant funds are being used to enhance services provided under CHOICES as well as for new, targeted programs to promote job placement and retention. Additionally, some competitive funds have been designated for capacity building initiatives designed to enhance systems, rather than service specific individuals. There are 3 primary service contractors that will offer services to WtW participants.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles; Different subcontract service providers build on expertise with different sub-populations such as homeless individuals and substance abusers.

Special Feature(s):  The Tarrant County WDB is using WtW competitive funds to continue an effort to create a wide area computer network that will allow community service providers (specifically small, often church-based, providers) access to a common set of data around individuals served, services received, and services available. Another innovative feature is a social marketing effort to determine why low income individuals do not utilize available services and participate in programs designed to assist them in becoming self-sufficient. Additionally, several service providers in the Fort Worth area are faith-based institutions.

Grantee:  Los Angeles County PIC

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Funding:  $3 million Round 2 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The LA County PIC, Department of Community and Senior Services (CSS) received a competitive grant to operate the Noncustodial Parent-to-Work (NCPtW) Program. This competitive grant program expands and enhances the existing Noncustodial Parent Demonstration (NCP Demo) Program in LA County.

WtW Program(s):  The NCPtW program expands the population targeted under the NCP Demo to include noncustodial parents who are current in their child support payments and who are employed 25 hours per week or more. The NCPtW program is designed to provide a range of job search and job readiness services, peer support groups, education and training opportunities, and job retention and advancement services to participants. The program also helps noncustodial parents addresses issues relating to child support and taking a more active role in the lives of their children.

Target Population(s):  This program focuses exclusively on noncustodial parents.

Special Feature(s):  Post-employment focus which includes components that attempt to instill parental responsibility, coping skills, and job advancement in noncustodial fathers, including an 18 session Peer Support Group.

Grantee:  SDAs 3 & 12: Full Employment Council, Inc.

Location:  Kansas City, MO

Funding:  $2.5 million Formula Funds and $4.4 million Round 2 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The Full Employment Council, Incorporated (FEC) is a private non- profit organization that serves as the SDA for Kansas City, MO and five surrounding counties. The FEC operates as the administrative entity for the 2 PICs in this area and serves as the coordinating and operational arm for all federally-funded employment and training initiatives serving economically disadvantaged individuals. The FEC works closely with the Local Investment Commission (LINC), the Division of Family Services (the TANF agency), and the Division of Employment Security (ES) and is co-located with TANF and ES in various offices and one-stops throughout SDAs 3 and 12.

WtW Program(s):  WtW funds are used in large part to provide pre-employment services similar to those provided through JTPA programs, including job preparation, job readiness, job placement and retention services. WtW funds are combined with other employment and training dollars to support a range of services with costs being allocated to various funding sources based on program eligibility after services are provided. Formula funds are primarily being used to fund services for long-term TANF recipients. The competitive grant is being used primarily to fund services for noncustodial parents. Additionally, the FEC is using WtW grant funds to serve a broader array of customers than they do with their other funding streams (including JTPA, Enhanced Enterprise Community Funds, and other state and local funds).

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles can receive services; groups targeted for inclusion in this programs client base are noncustodial parents and long-term TANF recipients.

Special Feature(s):  The financial incentives available to clients meet certain work-related goals are very generous. After 90 days of continuous employment, WtW customers receive a $300 voucher. Once a client has completed 9 months of continuous employment, clients receive a $1500 voucher. These vouchers are good for work-related expenses ranging from the purchase of work clothes to car repairs.

Grantee:  San Francisco PIC

Location:  San Francisco, CA

Funding:  $4.2 million Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The San Francisco PIC acts as the SDA for both the City and County of San Francisco. In addition to being the WtW formula grantee and a WtW competitive grantee, the PIC is the fiscal agent and monitor for all WtW programs funded by TANF.

WtW Program(s):  The competitive grant is used to fund three program components: (1) employment retention services, (2) a wage-based community service pilot, and (3) a construction careers program. These three components were designed to address identified deficiencies in the local employment and training infrastructure. Competitive grant funds are used to subcontract with five community based organizations to provide job placement and retention services, with each contractor targeted a sub-population it has expertise in serving. Competitive funds are blended with formula and other employment and training funds that enables the CALWORKs program in San Francisco to invest more heavily in key service areas identified as requiring additional resources.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles

Special Feature(s):  A consortium of private employers pledged $3.7 million in 1998 to support TANF recipients efforts to progress toward self-sufficiency.

Grantee:  Southern Nevada SDA, Nevada Business Services

Location:  Las Vegas, NV

Funding:  $7 million Formula Funds and half of the states allotment of 15% Discretionary Funds.

Organization:  Nevada Business Services, a non-profit/quasi-governmental agency, serves as the administrative arm of the PIC and is responsible for managing the WtW program.

WtW Program(s):  The Southern Nevada Private Industry Council is responsible for designing and implementing a WtW program for noncustodial parents and TANF recipients. The program provides a range of employment, training, and support services for noncustodial parents and will provide similar services to two distinct groups of TANF recipients: (1) those who are working, and (2) those who are not working and not receiving any employment or case management services. The goal of the program is to enhance employability, job retention, wage advancement, and the capacity to pay child support. Several contractors provide a comprehensive range of services, including job search and job placement assistance, work experience, life skills workshops, education and training, job retention, and support services.

Target Population(s):  This program targets three specific groups: 1) noncustodial parents, 2) TANF recipients who are working, and 3) TANF recipients who are not working and not receiving any employment or case management services.

Special Feature(s):  One program serves noncustodial parents exclusively.

Grantee:  City of Phoenix Human Service Department

Location:  Phoenix, AZ

Funding:  $1 million Formula Funds and $5 million in Round 1 Competitive Funds

Organization:  The EARN (Employment and Respect Now) Alliance is a division of the City of Phoenix Human Services Department (HSD) Employment and Training Division. EARN is headquartered in the Citys Enterprise Community (EC) and was created for the sole purpose of operating WtW within the EC.

WtW Program(s):  EARN focuses on three strategies to assist WtW participants: (1) assisting clients overcome barriers to employment (through job readiness training and post-employment, retention services), (2) assisting small employers in accessing the benefits of technology and workforce development, and (3) enabling WtW participants to use technology that connects data banks of learning, job opportunities, and tax credits to Electronic Community Access Machines.

Each participant is assigned a JOBS case worker (from the Department of Employment Security) and a Business Development Specialist/case worker from EARN. Program components include a two-week job readiness course operated by 3 subcontractors: Marriott Corp, Mesa Community College, and Chicanos Por La Causa.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles residing within Phoenixs Enterprise Community

Special Feature(s):  The Enterprise Community-based EARN program has created partnerships with local employers such as Sprint and Bank One; these partnerships allow participants to continue their work development by receiving on the job computer training tailored to the needs of business. City is leasing vehicles to WtW participants to address transportation problems.

Grantee:  Tri-Valley Private Industry Council

Location:  Yakima, WA

Funding:  $2.4 million Formula Funds and a portion of the states 15% Discretionary Funds

Organization:  The Tri-Valley Private Industry Council serves three counties: Yakima, Kittitas, and Klickitat. Referrals of potential WtW eligibles are received from the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. Services are provided through a network of community based providers.

WtW Program(s):  Through a highly collaborative system involving local service providers and the TANF office, the program provides WtW eligible TANF recipients assistance in preparing for, obtaining, and retaining subsidized and unsubsidized job placements. Supportive services, through TANF and WtW are also provided as are job retention services. In collaboration with the local prosecuting attorneys office, WtW also funds services to assist noncustodial parents become employed so as to avoid being determined in contempt of court for not meeting child support payment requirements.

Target Population(s):  All WtW eligibles including noncustodial parents.

Special Feature(s):  This PIC is an excellent example of a community-wide effort to provide a broad range of employment opportunities to hard-to-serve welfare recipients. The program for noncustodial parents offers an unique use of WtW funds as a means of assisting individuals in obtaining employment, so that they can subsequently make child support payments and avoid contempt procedures in the court system.