The Jobs Program: A Boost for the Economy and Struggling Families

The job market remains tough, but there is some reason to cheer.

As Jean Ross explains in an op-ed today in the Fresno Bee, a federally funded jobs program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been quietly creating jobs for low-income families and providing a boost to local economies all over California this year. Many of the workers in these jobs are recipients of CalWORKs, the state’s welfare-to-work program. Not only has the program helped families with children find work, gain skills, and transition off welfare, it’s also helped employers avoid layoffs and hire the employees they need. Recently profiled in the New York Times, the program has received bipartisan support.

The problem? Unless Congress moves quickly to extend and expand funding, counties may begin scaling back on their job creation programs soon. The CBP urges Congress not only to extend and expand the TANF Emergency Fund, which supports these jobs, but also to increase the maximum amount of funding a state can receive.

As Jean writes, “Creating jobs, stimulating the economy, and providing a transition from welfare to work: This jobs program is good news for California at a time when good news is sorely needed. Let’s keep it going.”

— Lisa Gardiner

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