ERIC Number: ED452351
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Wisconsin Works (W-2) Program, Department of Workforce Development: An Evaluation.
Stuiber, Paul; Lecoanet, Robin; Lathrop, Jessica; Miller, David; Russell, Matthew; Schoenbrunn, Rob; Smith, Joshua; Specht, Christine
Wisconsin Works (W-2) is a time-limited employment assistance program that, in September 1997, replaced cash entitlements provided to low-income families under Aid to Families with Dependent Children. W-2 provides subsidized or unsubsidized placements for participants, based upon their level of preparedness for employment. Participants in both types of placements can receive program services to assist them in finding or retaining employment, increasing their skills or wages, and overcoming barriers to employment (such as mental health problems and substance abuse), as well as health care, food stamps, and subsidized child care. Implementation of W-2 has resulted in large declines in the number of individuals receiving cash assistance. From January 1998 through September 2000, cash assistance caseloads declined more than 50 percent, from 14,204 to 6,771 cases. However, the program's success in achieving economic self-sufficiency for participants has been mixed. Among 2,129 participants who left W-2 during the firsts 3 months of 1998, 1,377 filed 1999 Wisconsin tax returns. Of those who filed, 643, or 47 percent, had incomes above the federal poverty level when earned income tax credits were included. In addition, 26 percent of those who left the program from January through March of 1998 had returned for cash assistance or other services by July 2000. Legislative challenges to be considered before the next contract period for W-2, which begins in January 2002, include the problem of returning participants and those with multiple or severe barriers to employment; how to best address the needs of those who are nearing time limits on program participation; and how to assist individuals who have entered the work force in maintaining their employment, advancing, and raising themselves and their families out of poverty. (Fifteen appendixes provide statistical information about the W-2 program and a response to the study from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.) (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Employment Opportunities, Employment Programs, Employment Services, Income, Job Placement, Job Search Methods, Job Training, Low Income Groups, Program Effectiveness, Program Implementation, Services, State Programs, Supported Employment, Welfare Recipients
Wisconsin State Legislative Audit Bureau, 22 E. Mifflin St., Suite 500, Madison, WI 53703; Tel: 608-266-2818; e-mail: Lacleric@legis.state.wi.us. For full text: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/Reports/01-7full.pdf.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin State Legislative Audit Bureau, Madison.