ERIC Number: ED435789
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Business Participation in Welfare-to-Work: Lessons from the United States.
Mills, Jack; Kazis, Richard
Case studies of 19 U.S. companies involved in welfare-to-work programs found that political and economic factors have accelerated the rate at which employers are hiring welfare recipients. Although participation in welfare-to-work programs is dominated by larger firms in a few industries (such as service and retail sectors), there is potential for continued expansion of employer participation. The primary focus of employers to date has been on recruitment and hiring, but strategies are being developed to improve employee retention, an area in which employers are receiving support from public policy. Employers identify business benefits from their participation, including increased access to labor, increased loyalty among new hires, reduced recruitment and hiring costs, reduced employee turnover, better quality new hires, and improved employee morale. Challenges to employers who want to expand their efforts include problems with obtaining suitable services from providers of welfare recipients and the complexity of working with those providers. Components of successful programs include high-level corporate commitment, local partnerships, and postplacement services. Public policy recommendations include the following: (1) changing policies and funding to balance "work first" and longer-term skill development strategies; (2) increasing public investment in supportive services and expanding income supplements for low-wage workers; and (3) providing public support to improve local service-providing organizations that serve as intermediaries between the welfare system and employers. (Contains 27 references.) KC)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Jobs for the Future, Boston, MA.