Welfare-to-Work Grants Programs: Adjusting to Changing Circumstances. 2. What Funding Sources are Used to Continue the Programs?


Thus, by 2003, in several study sites, it had already been determined that at least some of the WtW-funded projects will continue after the grant period with other funding — mainly from TANF and WIA. In some places there is only short-term funding, but in some sites longer-term funding is expected, usually because the program operator is already a WIA or TANF contractor or because the grantee is the WIA agency.

In sites where the WtW grantee is also the WIA agency, WIA funds appear to be particularly accessible. Those grantees seem to have had more success in identifying other sources of funds to continue programs than independent agency grantees (i.e., independent nonprofit organizations). This perhaps reflects the fact that WIA agencies tend to have multiple funding sources and programs. In Chicago and Tarrant County, Texas, for example, the WIA agencies used their WtW grants to fund several separate projects, most operated by nonprofit community-based organizations. In each of these two sites, WIA administrators reported that most of the projects funded by WtW grants are continuing with WIA, TANF and other funds.

WtW grantees that administer WIA and also are TANF contractors are often able to access TANF funds to continue the program. For example, in Tarrant County, Texas, the WIA agency, which also administers the TANF and Food Stamps work programs, continues to fund many of the programs that had operated with WtW grant funds using a combination of sources including TANF, WIA, Food Stamps Employment and Training, special grant funds for retention services for TANF recipients, employment services for public housing residents and, most recently, for ex-offenders. Similarly, in both Yakima and Phoenix, where the WtW grantee is the local WIA agency, many former WtW participants are being served through the One-Stop with WIA funds. In Yakima, many WtW participants also participate in the state TANF-funded Community Jobs Program.

Even in sites where the WtW grantee has no formal contract with or funding from TANF, their program subgrantees may be TANF contractors. In Chicago, for example, the WIA agency (and WtW grantee) has no formal contractual role with TANF, but most of its WtW operators do. (Two of the WtW project operators are also One-Stop operators.) A diverse funding base allows each organization to continue to operate the same or similar programs that had been developed with WtW funds. The total budgets of the post-WtW projects in the Chicago agencies are considerably lower than they had been with the WtW funds, and, therefore, fewer individuals can be served, but the basic WtW models are continuing to operate.

Not all administrators were confident about the long-term viability of the projects. A couple of administrators in grantee agencies in Massachusetts and Washington State specifically mentioned their concerns about future funding for work programs for TANF recipients because they fear that both TANF and WIA funds may decline in coming years. In Boston, for example, the state budget situation is currently strained to the point that some TANF-funded programs and supports have been reduced, including contracts to One-Stop Centers for assessment and referral to work programs. Some corporate and city funding in Boston will sustain a few of the former WtW programs for a year or two, but it is unclear whether long-term funding will be possible. And Nashville Pathways is continuing through March 2004 with WtW funding from a different Round 3 competitive grantee. However, the WIA agency no longer has TANF funding, and the prospects for longer-term funding of Pathways are uncertain.

WtW grantees that are nonprofit organizations seem to have more difficulty continuing programs than those that are WIA agencies. The notable exception in the study sites is the Philadelphia TWC program, which will continue with strong financial support from foundations and from the state TANF agency. Other nonprofit grantees, though, are struggling to piece together funding to keep programs going and are seriously concerned about funds over the next few years. HRDF in West Virginia, for example, received some state TANF funding for a direct job placement model, and other TANF contracts for special initiatives such as the Wheels-to-Work transportation project, but the WtW CEP model is not continuing.

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