Delaware To Receive $750,000 To Assist Welfare Recipients Obtain And Keep Jobs

Delegation helped secure funding through FY02 Transportation Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Delaware Congressional Delegation announced today that the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) will receive $750,000, he secured as part of the Fiscal Year 2002 Transportation Appropriation Bill to support a Welfare-to-Work transportation project. The project will assist welfare recipients throughout the state in obtaining and keeping jobs by addressing transportation needs in rural and urban areas. “We need to help those hit hardest during these tenuous economic times,” said Senator Biden. “This money will help a lot of hard-working Delawareans become more self-sufficient.” “Welfare to Work empowers participants with a strong sense of accomplishment as they become productive members of their community,” Carper said. “During my time as Governor, Welfare to Work reduced our welfare rolls dramatically. But there are still families who, because of where they live, cannot get to new jobs. This funding helps those families reach self-sufficiency.” “The majority of welfare recipients are transitioning into entry level positions that have non-traditional work hours,” said Castle. “Those who experience the most difficulty in traveling to and from work are those who live in rural areas of Delaware, and are not served by traditional public transportation routes. Through this program we create options for welfare clients who have found or are looking for jobs.” In April, 2001, Castle wrote to Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation Chairman Harold Rogers to secure this funding. Specifically, this grant will provide for the purchase of four vans and operating assistance within Sussex County ($170,341), operating assistance in Kent County ($129,839) and operating assistance within the Wilmington Metro Area ($449,820). The project will also provide continuation of its current transportation services in order to sustain DelDOT’s infrastructure of public transit service to meet work trip needs of low-income residents in the state. “I believe that this program addresses an important and identified need for welfare recipients,” said Castle. “This grant implements a system that allows Delawareans with transportation barriers to find and hold a career.” As governor, Mike Castle initiated welfare reform in Delaware and helped write the National Family Support Act of 1988. He used this experience to write the only bipartisan welfare reform plan in the House with Rep. John Tanner (D-TN) in 1995. President Clinton endorsed the Castle-Tanner welfare reform bill and nearly 70 percent of the bill became law. Now Castle is working to extend Transitional Medical Assistance, increase funding for child care, increase a quality setaside to attract and retain child care providers and ensure back child support is paid to custodial parents. As Governor of Delaware, Carper instituted a successful welfare reform policy, reducing teen pregnancy and cutting Delaware’s welfare rolls by over 50%. As a part of the Senate’s new Democratic Leadership team, Carper will work with Senator Daschle and the rest of the leadership to ensure that we reauthorize welfare reform that assists many, but also rewards work.