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June 26, 1998

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For America to continue to prosper, as many Americans as possible must contribute in a productive way and learn the profound responsibilities of work and independence.

Vice President Al Gore
June 26, 1998

Today, Vice President Al Gore travels to San Antonio, Texas with Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman and participates in a town hall discussion on the role of service and faith-based organizations in providing support to people moving from welfare to work.

A Commitment To Moving People From Welfare To Work. In 1996, President Clinton signed sweeping welfare reform legislation aimed at moving welfare recipients onto the payrolls. As part of the balanced budget legislation signed last year, the Administration fought for $3 billion in welfare-to-work grants, to help move long-term welfare recipients into lasting unsubsidized jobs. Seventy-five percent of these funds are distributed to the states by formula through the Department of Labor. Today, Vice President Gore announces a $76 million Welfare-To-Work grant for the state of Texas to help the hardest-to-employ welfare recipients find and keep good jobs. With today's announcement, Texas becomes the 23rd state to have a formula grant approved by the Department of Labor.

Resources For Innovative Ideas At The Local Level. Welfare-to-Work grants allocated by the Department of Labor allow localities to target the needs of welfare recipients in their communities. Among the services these grants can provide are job placement, on-the-job training, community service jobs and other work experience opportunities, employment assistance for non-custodial parents, and job retention services such as child care, transportation, and substance abuse treatment.

Working With Community-Based Organizations. Last year, the Vice President launched the Welfare- to-Work Coalition to Sustain Success, a cooperative effort among national civic, service, and faith-based organizations that work with states and local agencies to help those moving from welfare to work succeed on the job. This partnership includes such groups as the YMCA, YWCA, Salvation Army, United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, Goodwill, and the Women's Missionary Union, who provide mentoring, job training, child care transportation and other support to help these workers with the transition to self-sufficiency.

A Solid Record Of Accomplishment. The innovative ideas launched by the Administration are having positive results. Welfare rolls have fallen 37 percent since 1993 and 27 percent since the enactment of welfare reform. Today, the percentage of the U.S. population on welfare -- 3.3 percent-- is at its lowest level since 1969 and recent studies show that ever increasing numbers of welfare recipients are going to work.

Supporting Dislocated Workers. While in San Antonio, the Vice President will also announce a grant which will enable the Alamo Workforce Development Board to assist 3,180 workers in the greater San Antonio area who will be affected by the reduction-in-force program at Kelly Air Force Base in 1999 and 2000. This grant will support re-training and job placement services, including: outreach to affected workers, skills testing, job search assistance, vocational and on-the-job training, job search assistance, customized education, and child care and transportation assistance.

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