Thursday, May 21, 1998
W-2 participation level little changed in April
Madison, Wis. -- The number of persons participating in Wisconsins W-2 program remained little changed in April at 16,350, while a state official said there was an "encouraging increase" in the number of persons in unsubsidized employment.
Linda Stewart, the states Workforce Development Secretary, said the 16,350 participants last month compared to 16,420 in March.
Meanwhile, using another evaluation yardstick, the count of persons in unsubsidized jobs under W-2 statewide rose from 4,818 on March 31 to 4,897 on April 30, or up 1.6 per cent.
Stewart said the percentage of W-2 participants in unsubsidized employment at Aprils end -- 30 per cent -- was double the estimate of 15 per cent originally set as a desirable minimum by W-2 planners for this category.
"W-2 is continuing to accomplish exactly what was intended -- to help families escape poverty and achieve economic self-sufficiency," Stewart said. "We can take much pride in Wisconsins leading the way nationally in programs so relevant to improving peoples lives and helping them fulfill their aspirations."
In Milwaukee County, the increase in those in unsubsdized jobs was up 85, or 2.3 per cent, over the month to 3,762, compared to 3,677 in March.
April was also the first month after the state ended its Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or AFDC, program.
"April was the first time in 62 years that AFDC checks were not mailed out in the state of Wisconsin," Stewart said . "We are the first state to fully replace the AFDC system with a support system based entirely on work and work preparation."
"With the ending of cash welfare in Wisconsin, we have a work support system that helps parents prepare for, find, and keep jobs.
"Everyone wins. Employers get needed employes at a time of labor shortage, tax burdens are reduced because we have more taxpayers, and low-income parents are finding personal fulfillment through employment and providing a strong role model for their children."
"W-2 also is a success for the partnership weve established of community groups and state government."
The states W-2, or Wisconsin Works, program establishes an employment ladder with four rungs, or levels, for participants: unsubsidized employment, trial jobs, community service jobs and a W-2 transition program.
Applicants and participants are assessed by W-2 staff known as case managers and are assigned to one of the four categories based on a judgment of their level of skills and abilities.
Individuals in community service jobs and W-2 transition (an education and work training program) receive cash payments from their W-2 agency in exchange for activities. The maximum is $673 a month for community service jobs and $628 for W-2 transition.
Participants in trial jobs are paid directly by employers, who can receive up to $300 a month a worker from a W-2 agency. Persons in unsubsidized employment receive no cash payments but receive help (known internally as case management services) in finding, improving or retaining a job.
All persons in these categories also may be eligible for other services and benefits such as child care, food stamps, medical assistance, and transportation assistance.
|Trial Job|| |
|Community Service|| |
|W-2 Transitions|| |
|Total W-2|| |
|This chart represents a snapshot in time taken April 30, 1998. Much of the data in the news release text and on the accompanying charts are cumulative totals under which program payments were made.|