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ERIC Number: ED466505
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Built To Last: Why Skills Matter for Long-Run Success in Welfare Reform.
Martinson, Karin; Strawn, Julie
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) gives states the flexibility to design programs to help low-income families move into employment. However, the law discourages states from allowing welfare recipients to participate in education and training programs. Because the law limits the extent to which education activities count toward federal work participation requirements, individuals are restricted in how long they can participate in training and receive services. This paper shows that skills matter in the labor market, even for entry-level jobs, and that welfare recipients' low skills are an obstacle to finding lasting employment and earning enough to support a family. Studies show that helping low-income parents increase their skills pays off in the labor market, particularly through participation in vocational training and postsecondary education and training. The paper explains why it is critical to improve access to education and training among welfare recipients as part of TANF reauthorization. It notes that mixed welfare-to-work strategies are the most effective type and highlights the Portland, Oregon, program, which emphasizes participation in a range of activities that are tailored individually and stress job quality. Finally, it examines when education and training pay off. Recommendations for TANF reauthorization are discussed. (SM)
Center for Law and Social Policy, 1616 P Street, N.W., Suite 150, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-328-5140; Fax: 202-328-5195; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Open Society Inst., New York, NY.; David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA.; Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; George Gund Foundation, Cleveland, OH.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Moriah Fund, Washington, DC.; Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Public Welfare Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC.; National Council of State Directors of Adult Education.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families