Will House TANF draft help Americans skill up? NSC weighs in

July 29, 2015

Based on input from stakeholders across the country, National Skills Coalition submitted comments on a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization discussion draft bill released by the House Ways and Means Committee’s Human Resources Subcommittee earlier this month. The draft bill would make a number of significant changes to the existing program as outlined in our blog post, including substantial modifications to work requirements for TANF recipients and increased emphasis on education and training services.

We applaud the inclusion of a range of proposed policy changes that will expand access to employment, education, and training for TANF participants; a new “Improving Opportunity Fund” to stimulate innovative training strategies; and new requirements that would encourage states to include TANF in broader workforce development planning. At the same time, we are concerned that the draft legislation does not go far enough in bringing TANF in line with the realities of the 21st century economy, and in particular the need to ensure that all Americans – including TANF recipients – have access to the fullest possible range of high quality education and training services aligned to the skill requirements of local and regional industries. Read NSC’s comments.