|We've got NEWS|
|Thursday, March 16, 2000 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
|Contact:||Tony Jewell (608) 267-7303 |
Rachel Biittner, Department of Workforce Development, (608) 266-8710
THOMPSON ANNOUNCES 76% LEAVE W-2 FOR JOBS, OTHER INCOME
Major study proves welfare reform works for Wisconsin
MADISON – Gov. Tommy G. Thompson announced today that 76 percent of people who have left welfare since the inception of W-2 did so because they got jobs or had other income that allowed them to leave public assistance.
"This is a true testament to the success of W-2 in empowering families with a job and a paycheck," said Gov. Thompson. "These numbers prove that if you participate in W-2 and accept our help, you will succeed."
The Department of Workforce Development study tracked every family that received welfare payments or case management services at some time between August 1997 and September 1999. The study found 29,077 of those 39,979 families were not receiving cash assistance as of October 1999.
The study also found:
"Not only has this extensive study shown that a vast majority of people made a successful transition from welfare to work, but earnings are significantly higher than we had even predicted," said DWD Secretary Linda Stewart.
The department was able to obtain earnings for 13,248 of the 22,061 families who were not receiving cash assistance as a result of employment or unearned income. Sixty-nine percent of those 13,248 families were receiving between $34,344 and $38,004 in income and benefits, based on monthly annualized earnings.
And 31 percent had annualized income and benefits between $31,596 and $33,840. That compares to $23,904 for a family on AFDC.
Of those families who left welfare for work, 71 percent (20,561) were still receiving one or more of the available supportive services, which include food stamps, Medicaid or BadgerCare, child care, or case management. The new W-2 contracts require that agencies provide case management services, regardless of income, for a minimum of six months after a family has left cash assistance for employment.
Secretary Stewart added that the success of W-2 families will depend on their access to supportive services that not only help them get their first job but help them move up the career ladder. Job skills training, employment counseling and job retention activities are all a part of these services.
This effort is further aided by the Workforce Attachment and Advancement Initiative, a $30 million item in the biennial budget that provides post-employment services that promote job retention, upward mobility of low-wage workers and improves the skills of TANF-eligible workers.