November 17, 1997

Welfare to Work

President Clinton Announces that 2,500 Companies Pledge to Move People From Welfare To Work

Now I challenge every state: Turn those welfare checks into private sector paychecks. I challenge every religious congregation, every community nonprofit, every business to hire someone off welfare. And I'd like to say especially to every employer in our country who ever criticized the old welfare system, you can't blame that old system anymore, we have torn it down. Now do your part. Give someone on welfare the chance to go to work.

President Clinton,
February 4, 1997

President Clinton traveled to Wichita, Kansas, to the Cessna Aircraft Company, to discuss the progress of his Administration's efforts to move people on welfare to work. The President announced that thousands of companies have pledged to hire new workers from the welfare rolls, and that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is joining the effort. The President also announced new work-focused welfare reform rules that will provide state and local governments with flexibility to continue the decline in welfare rolls, which dropped another 236,000 in July.

Increases in Private Sectors Commitments from 105 to 2,500. On May 20th, 105 company executives joined the President at the White House to launch the Welfare to Work Partnership and pledged to enlist 1,000 companies within six months. Today, the President announced that over 2,500 companies have joined the Partnership and pledged to hire welfare recipients without displacing current employees.

A New U.S. Chamber of Commerce Welfare to Work Campaign. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a new campaign to enlist every local chamber of commerce in the welfare to work effort. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a letter sent to over 3,000 chambers of commerce urging their members to join the Welfare to Work Partnership and hire welfare recipients to fill critical labor shortages. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

New Results-Focused Welfare to Work Rules. The President unveiled new federal welfare rules that underscore his commitment to moving welfare recipients to work and self-sufficiency. The rules provide additional guidance to states operating the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare reform program and to states and localities receiving grants from the $3 billion Welfare to Work (WtW) fund the President fought for and won in the Balanced Budget. The new TANF rules uphold the welfare law's strong emphasis on work by strengthening the law's incentives to increase the work participation rates among former recipients. In addition, both the TANF and Welfare to Work rules provide tremendous flexibility to state and local governments to decide what programs and services will best help families become self-sufficient.

Dramatic Declines in Welfare Caseloads. President Clinton announced today that welfare caseloads have declined another 236,000, bringing the total reduction to more than 3.8 million since he became President. This is a drop of 27 percent and the largest decline in history. In the 11 months from August 1996 when he signed welfare reform into law through July 1997 (the numbers released today), welfare rolls have declined over 1.9 million to just over 10.2 million people. Since 1993, a total of 49 out of 50 states have lowered their welfare rolls -- 16 states by 40 percent or more. The welfare caseloads, which fell by a record 1.9 million in the President's first three-and-a-half years in office, have dropped by 1.9 million more in the first 11 months of the new law's first year.

November 1997

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November 17, 1997

November 19, 1997

November 20, 1997

November 21, 1997

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