Early Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Findings From Exploratory Site Visits and Review of Program Plans. 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 In states that have already begun to implement the WIA of 1996, which rescinded JTPA, Congress specified that the presumptive WtW administrative entity at the substate level be the newly formed WIB.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.