Welfare Hiring Goals Set

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President Clinton yesterday announced that federal agencies will hire at least 10,000 people off the welfare rolls over the next four years. The White House itself will hire at least six people, Clinton said.

About 4,000 of the welfare recipients will be hired by the Commerce Department to help conduct the year 2000 census. The Defense Department has pledged to hire 1,600 welfare recipients; Veterans Affairs, 800; and the Social Security Administration, 600, the Administration said. Other agency goals are listed below.

President Clinton also said the administration will urge companies who contract with the government to hire people off welfare.

"These will not be make-work jobs," Clinton said. "These will be jobs that actually need to be fulfilled, work that needs to be done for the American people. We will demand the highest performance from the new employees and insist that they live up to their responsibilities. But we will also offer them a chance at a new beginning."

Vice President Gore attempted to head off concerns about starting a hiring initiative during a time of government downsizing.

"Everybody should understand that even as downsizing continues, there is a natural continuing hiring process in the government," he said. And as the net number of federal employees continues to go down, there is a natural process by which this hiring continues."

Clinton said a special push to hire welfare recipients is needed because about 60 percent of people who receive public assistance have a "generational dependence on welfare." The other 40 percent, he said, "get the help they need, get right off, and go on with their lives."

The President said people on welfare should contact welfare offices at the state level to find out about federal job openings in their area. Gore said welfare recipients will also be able to find out about federal jobs open to them by searching the government job bank on the Internet or by going to federal office buildings in their area.

President Clinton announced the hiring plan at a Cabinet meeting, during which Clinton introduced two former welfare recipients who got jobs with the federal government. Rebecca Wilson, a single mother of two from Clinton, Iowa, became a clerk at a local Social Security office. Tonya Graham, also a single mother, is now a full-time claims representative for Social Security after being on welfare while attending college.

Welfare to Work: Federal Government Commitments By Agency

Agency Number of
Potential Hires
FY97-00
FY97 FY98 FY99 FY00 Total Federal
Civilian
Employment
USDA 450 100 175 175 TBD 96,741
Commerce
(inc.
Census)
4,180 180 4,000 TBD TBD 34,228
Defense 1,605 248 505 505 347 769,784
Education 21 21 TBD TBD TBD 4,496
Energy 55 0 55 TBD TBD 17,494
EOP 6 6 TBD TBD TBD 1,513
EPA 120 60 30 15 15 17,157
FEMA 125 20 35 35 35 5,044
GSA 121 65 35 15 6 14,435
HHS 150 50 100 TBD TBD 58,247
HUD 200 50 50 50 50 11,242
Interior 325 50 75 90 110 64,840
Justice 450 100 175 175 TBD 111,535
Labor 120 50 70 TBD TBD 15,116
NASA 40 0 22 6 12 20,440
OPM 25 25 TBD TBD TBD 3,344
SBA 120 30 30 30 30 4,513
SSA 600 150 150 150 150 66,177
State 220 55 55 55 55 23,982
Transportation 209 102 107 TBD TBD 62,642
Treasury 405 200 205 TBD TBD 151,176
VA 800 400 400 TBD TBD 244,857
TOTAL 10,347 1,962 6,274 1,301 810 1,799,183

Source: The White House
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