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Department of Labor announces FY'98 welfare to work funding

Chris Marshall 703/524-7600
For Immediate Release
18 Feb 98

Welfare to Work grants are available to state and local NAMI organizations

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced funding for the new Welfare to Work Program (WtW) to assist States and local communities to provide the transitional employment assistance needed to move "hard-to-employ" individuals into lasting jobs. The Department of Labor acknowledged that due in large part to the efforts of disability organizations such as NAMI, officials at the Department are aware that nearly one out of five welfare recipients has a disability which can best be addressed by disability community organizations. State and local NAMI’s have an excellent opportunity to obtain funding for programs specifically designed to assist people with severe mental illness to get lasting and stable employment.. The goal of the grant project is "to provide transitional assistance which moves welfare recipients into unsubsidized employment providing good career potential for achieving economic self sufficiency." Application forms can be accessed from the Department of Labor’s home page, or you may call Mr. Willie Harris, Grant Management Specialist at the Department of Labor at 202-219-8694. Closing date for application is March 10, 1998.

The Department of Labor is releasing $711 million in competitive grants as part of a $3 billion national effort to move people from welfare to work. Under the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, 2.2 billion will be allocated non-competitively over the next two years to states based on their populations of poor people and adult recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). WtW grants are targeted to assisting those TANF recipients, and certain non-custodial parents, who have experienced, or have characteristics associated with, long-term welfare dependence. A total of $343.25 million is available for competitive grants in FY 1998. Approximately $184 million is being made available through this announcement. A second announcement by the Department of Labor for the balance of the funds for FY ’98 will be issued in the spring.

Of the funds available in the current fiscal year, the Department intends to distribute approximately 70 percent for projects to serve cities with large concentrations of poverty and 30 percent projected for rural areas. It is expected that most grant awards will be between $1 million and $5 million. Most grants are expected to serve a minimum of 100 eligible participants. Applications outside of this range should provide an explanation of how the project will have substantial community impact (especially for those below $1 million and fewer than 100 participants), or how project services will be provided on a local level and targeted to the specific needs of the defined target group (especially for those applications over $5 million).

For more information or questions about Welfare to Work grants, please contact Chris Marshall, NAMI’s federal affairs representative, at 703-516-7969 by phone, or email at