Coordination and Integration of Welfare and Workforce Development Systems. Previous History of Coordination

03/20/2000

A previous history of working together was often cited as an important factor in agency coordination. In many of the sites visited, current organizational relationships reflect the arrangements that were in place as far back as the WIN program in the 1960s and 1970s. For example, ES continues to be an important partner in work-welfare activities, as noted in 8 of the 12 of the sites visited. In several of the sites, current relationships between the welfare and workforce development systems build upon the structure established for administering the JOBS program.(4)  In Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, the JOBS program represented the first time that welfare and JTPA agencies worked together to serve clients.Having worked together on prior initiatives often meant that agency staffs had an awareness of the other programs' objectives and operations and had developed collegial relationships.

  • In Providence, the ES agency has had a contractual relationship with the welfare agency to provide a range of employment services to welfare recipients for over 20 years. They continue to provide job search and job readiness activities under TANF, and are also adding a job retention component.
  • In Kansas City, the welfare agency and the JTPA/WIA agency began co-locating staff and sharing responsibility for services in 1994 under an AFDC waiver demonstration - the 21st Century Welfare-to-Work Program. The welfare agency provides eligibility and application processing and case management services, while job development and job matching is handled by the JTPA/WIA agency. The WtW program was built on the same model, whereby the welfare agency continues to provide case management services and the JTPA/WIA agency provides more specialized workforce development services.
  • In Pittsburgh, the welfare agency staff report that they have always had a good working relationship with the JTPA program, dating back to implementation of the JOBS program in 1987. This description was echoed by staff of the JTPA/WIA agency. Employment and training caseworkers from the welfare office are on site at the JTPA/WIA agency two days per week, and staff of the two agencies speak almost daily.