Job strategy to remove women from welfare rolls raises doubts

April 26, 1994|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- The first nationwide study of a welfare-to-work program for women sends mixed messages about the likelihood of success of the Clinton administration's plan to place welfare recipients in jobs.

"The good news we have to offer is that it can be done and there is an infrastructure in place for doing it," said Anthony Carnevale, chairman of the National Commission for Employment Policy, which conducted the study.

But Mr. Carnevale warns that training and job placement will give only a fraction of welfare recipients the boost they need to become stable members of the labor force -- a finding that has important implications for the two-year time limit the president wants on welfare benefits.

Under the administration's plan for welfare reform, which is expected to be introduced to Congress late next month, welfare recipients would be required to go to work after two years on the rolls. People who cannot find work after two years would be offered public service jobs.

But the study shows that even welfare recipients motivated enough to volunteer for a job training program have only a 50 percent chance of staying employed through the first year after training.

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