THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President


For Immediate Release
Monday, August 2, 1999
Contact: (202) 456-7035

VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DOING ITS SHARE IN MOVING FAMILIES FROM WELFARE TO WORK

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that the federal government has hired over 14,000 welfare recipients since launching the Federal Welfare-to-Work Hiring Initiative in March 1997, far exceeding the original goal of hiring 10,000 individuals by the year 2000. Further, new data from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management show that federal Welfare-to-Work hires are not only getting off welfare, but they are staying off and succeeding in their new jobs.

"More and more people are moving from welfare to work, and I'm proud the federal government is doing its part," Vice President Gore said. "And I'm particularly pleased that nearly 70 percent of federal Welfare-to-Work hires were still on board with us after one year a far higher retention rate than for other federal employees. Clearly, welfare to work can pay off for both employers and employees."

The Vice President today also met with three Executive Office Personnel employees -- Pam Allen, Laura Askew and Susanna Gonzalez -- and personally congratulated them for making the move from welfare to work. The Vice President also phoned other federal employees across the nation -- Lorie Strichko of Ohio with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Grace Derenda of New York with the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- and highlighted their success.

As of September 1998, almost 70 percent of federal Welfare-to-Work hires were still working in their federal positions after one year. In comparison, only 37 percent of the non-Welfare-to-Work employees hired during the same period for similar jobs and pay levels, were still in their jobs. These results are consistent with the experience of the private sector employers involved in The Welfare-to-Work Partnership. Businesses in dozens of industries find that welfare-to-work retention is often higher than that experienced with non-welfare hires. Welfare hiring programs not only help meet labor needs, but decrease costly employee turnover.

Today, Vice President Gore will talk with successful federal Welfare-to-Work hires from several agencies around the country. Dedicated cabinet secretaries and agency coordinators have hired over 14,000 individuals in jobs such as Clerks, Food Service Workers, Enumerators, and Motor Vehicle Operators in hundreds of federal offices nationwide. Four out of five federal Welfare-to-Work hires work outside the Washington area. As part of this effort, the White House pledged to hire six welfare recipients and has already brought eight individuals on board.

Vice President Gore's Second Annual Report to the President on the Federal Welfare-to-Work Hiring Initiative highlights strategies that agencies use to recruit and retain their federal Welfare-to-Work hires. Retention strategies include: on-the-job training, mentoring programs, counseling services, health benefits, assistance with transportation and child care, flexible work schedules, and information on supports for working families such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

"Welfare-to-Work works." said U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Janice LaChance. "Federal Welfare-to-Work hires are almost twice as likely to stay on the job for a full year than non-Welfare-to-Work employees. What a great incentive to keep the momentum going."

Federal Welfare-to-Work Commitments and Hires

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