Benefits Planning


Launching the Work Advancement and Support Center Demonstration

March, 2006
Jacquelyn Anderson, Linda Yuriko Kato, James A. Riccio

The Work Advancement and Support Center demonstration tests an innovative approach to fostering employment retention, career advancement, and increased take-up of work supports for a broad range of low-earners, including reemployed dislocated workers. This report examines start-up experiences in the first two sites: Dayton, Ohio, and San Diego, California.

The wages and earnings of low-income workers have been stagnant or declining in real terms for approximately 35 years. Nationwide, the labor market-driven growth of the low-wage workforce has become a major issue for both the business community and the public. Low-wage workers represent a significant segment of the nation’s workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor...

A long-standing dilemma in welfare policy is that while cash benefits reduce poverty, they can also discourage low-income parents from supporting their families through work. Conversely, work requirements like those introduced in the 1996 federal welfare law encourage employment but — given that many welfare recipients command only low wages — can also leave families...