Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program
Amends the AFDC program to require States to establish a job opportunities and basic skills training program (Program) which helps needy families with children obtain the education, training, and employment that will help them avoid long-term welfare dependence.
Requires non-exempt AFDC recipients to participate in such Program if State resources permit such level of participation and necessary child care is available to participants.
Allows exempt AFDC recipients to participate on a voluntary basis.
Directs the Secretary to permit up to five States to provide Program services, on a voluntary or mandatory basis, to non-custodial parents who are unemployed and unable to meet their child support obligations.
Requires such States to evaluate and report to the Secretary on the effectiveness of providing such services to non-custodial parents.
Exempts from Program participation an individual who:
(1) is ill, incapacitated, or of advanced age;
(2) is needed in the home because of the illness or incapacity of another member of the household;
(3) is a parent or relative of a child under age three or, at the State's option, less than age three but not less than age one (such exception applies to only one parent in a two-parent family and may be made inapplicable to both parents if the State provides the family with child care);
(4) works more than 30 hours or more per week;
(5) is a child under age 16 or attending elementary, secondary, or vocational school full time;
(6) is a woman in at least her third month of pregnancy; or
(7) resides in an area of the State where the Program is not available.
Prohibits States from requiring the participation of a parent or relative of a child under age six unless child care is guaranteed and participation is on a part-time basis.
Requires non-exempt custodial parents who have not attained age 20 or successfully completed a high-school education to participate in an educational activity.
Provides that if the parent, caretaker relative, or dependent child is attending a school or course of vocational or technical training when he or she would otherwise commence participation in the Program, such attendance may constitute satisfactory participation in the Program so long as it is consistent with his or her employment goals, though the costs of such schooling or training shall not be covered under the AFDC program.
Provides that when a mandatory Program participant fails without good cause to comply with any requirement imposed on his or her participation in such Program:
(1) such participant's needs shall not be taken into account in determining the family's need for AFDC Benefits; and
(2) if such participant's spouse is not participating in the Program, the spouse's need shall not be taken into account in determining the family's need for AFDC benefits.
Continues sanctions for a minimum of three months upon the participant's second failure to comply and for six months in any case of subsequent noncompliance.
Directs States, after three months of a participant's noncompliance, to remind the participant in writing of his or her option to end the sanction.
Prohibits a State from requiring an individual to accept a Program position which would result in a loss of income to such individual or his or her family.
Requires States to make an initial assessment of the educational, child care, and other supportive service needs as well as the skills, prior work experience, and employability of each Program participant and on that basis develop an employability plan for the participant which, to the maximum extent possible, reflects the participant's preferences.
Authorizes the State to then require each participant to enter into an agreement with the State which specifies the participant's obligations under the Program, the duration of his or her participation, and the activities the State will conduct and services it will provide in the course of such participation.
Permits the State to assign a case manager to each participant and his or her family to assist the family in obtaining services which may assure the family's effective participation.
Requires the State to furnish Program information to AFDC applicants and recipients.
Requires State Programs to provide a broad range of services and activities.
Authorizes any State to institute a work supplementation program under which such State reserves sums which would otherwise be payable to Program participants as AFDC benefits and uses such sums instead to subsidize jobs for such participants.
Authorizes any State to establish a community work experience program to provide experience and training for individuals not otherwise able to obtain employment.
Limits such programs to projects which serve a useful public purpose, utilizing, if possible, the participant's prior training, experience, and skills.
Prohibits States from requiring AFDC recipients to work off their benefits in community work activities at less than the Federal or State minimum wage rate and, after nine months at the same job, at less than the wage rate for regular employees doing the same job.
Requires that a participant's employability plan be reassessed after each six months of an individual's participation in a community work experience program and at the conclusion of each assignment under such program.
Requires that community work activities be coordinated with job search activities so that job placement has priority over participation in the community work experience program.
Authorizes States to require individuals to participate in job search activities for up to eight weeks after applying for AFDC benefits and for up to eight weeks in any 12-month period thereafter.
Prohibits the requirement that individuals engage in job search activities for more than three weeks before the State makes its initial assessment of their needs and skills.
Requires States to establish conciliation procedures for the resolution of disputes involving an individual's participation in the Program and have a hearing process to resolve disputes not resolved during the conciliation process.
Prohibits the termination or reduction of AFDC benefits as a result of such dispute until the individual has an opportunity for a hearing.
Allows Indian tribes and Alaska Native organizations to apply directly to the Secretary within six months of this Act's enactment to establish and administer their own Program. Requires that Program activities be coordinated with Job Training Partnership Act programs and any other relevant employment, training, and education programs available in the State. Requires that the proposed State plan be made available to the public and the State job training coordinating council for review and comments before being submitted to the Secretary of Labor. Requires that each Program assignment take into account the physical capacity, skills, experience, health, family responsibilities, and place of residence of each participant.
Prohibits participants from being required to travel an unreasonable distance from home or remain away from home overnight.
Requires that workers' compensation and tort claims protection be provided to participants on the same basis as they are provided to others in similar employment.
Prohibits work assignments which displace a currently employed worker or position, fill the job of a worker who has been laid off or fired, or infringe on the promotional opportunities of a currently employed worker.
Requires each State to establish and maintain a grievance procedure for participant complaints concerning work assignments.
Authorizes each State, within one year of this Act's enactment, to:
(1) evaluate the demographic characteristics of potential Program participants, giving particular attention to the demands of the State labor market, the training needed to meet those demands, and necessary changes in current service delivery systems; and submit such evaluation to the Secretary. Caps Federal funding for Program costs.
Prohibits the use of such funds for construction.
Sets the Federal matching rate for Program costs at 90 percent of a State's costs which do not exceed its FY 1987 costs under part C (Work Incentive Program) of title IV of the Act and the greater of 60 percent or the Medicaid (title XIX of the Act) matching rate for additional non-administrative costs.
Sets such rate for administrative and work-related supportive service costs at 50 percent.
Reduces the rate of Federal reimbursement for all non-administrative Program expenditures to 50 percent if:
(1) less than 55 percent of such expenditures are targeted at individuals who have received AFDC benefits for 36 of the preceding 60 months, are custodial parents under age 24 who have not completed and are not enrolled in high school or had little or no work experience in the preceding year, or are members of families in which the youngest child is within two years of being ineligible for AFDC benefits because of age; or
(2) State Program participation rates do not equal or exceed specified percentages.
Requires the Secretary to:
(1) publish final Program regulations within one year of this Act's enactment;
(2) submit recommended Program performance standards to the Congress within three years of this Act's enactment;
(3) transmit a proposal to the Congress for measuring State progress, providing technical assistance to enable States to meet performance standards, and modifying the Federal matching rate to reflect the relative effectiveness of the various States in carrying out the program;
(4) study State implementation of the Program;
(5) select five States to participate in three-year demonstration projects to study the relative effectiveness of different approaches for assisting long-term and potentially long-term AFDC recipients under the Program;
(6) convene an advisory panel, within three months of this Act's enactment, to design, implement, and monitor a series of Program implementation and evaluation studies; and
(7) study the application of the Program to Indians. Authorizes appropriations for the State implementation study for FY 1989 through 1991 and for the effectiveness study for FY 1990 and 1991.