Work Participation and TANF/WIA Coordination Project, 2011-2013

Project Overview

This is a two-part project dealing with Work Participation and TANF/WIA Coordination. The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 extended the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and contains a section on reports required from the states concerning the reporting of allowable work activities, and “Other” TANF expenditures. The Act further provides that the Secretary may provide any additional information that he or she determines appropriate with respect to the information required by this section of the Act, including information about individuals who have no hours of participation in work-related activities and the principal reasons for such non-participation. The purpose of the first portion of the project is to provide information about state TANF agency work activity reporting, especially with regard to TANF participants who do not participate in TANF work activities or are reported to have no hours of participation. In addition, the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which created TANF, imposed time limits on receipt of cash assistance and broadened and strengthened mandates for clients to work or engage in work-related activities. These changes in particular increased the need for employment-related services for welfare recipients, applicants, and potential applicants. In 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) consolidated multiple employment-related public programs into a unified system through which comprehensive labor market information, job training, and job-finding assistance could be provided in "one-stop" service centers. Moreover, WIA mandated that in service areas in which funds are insufficient to serve all citizens, public assistance recipients and other low-income citizens have priority for services. Legislative intent was to have the two systems working together to improve the employment chances of low-income individuals. The second portion of the current project will look at exemplary programs involving cross-program coordination and the degree to which WIA program services are provided to TANF clients.

The points of contact are Timothy Baker for Work Participation and Michael Dubinsky for TANF/WIA.

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