Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan Preparing More Welfare Recipients for Work Act to strengthen and simplify the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF).
“States need flexibility to help TANF recipients become self-sufficient,” said Renacci. “Current TANF work requirements can discourage states from engaging those with the least experience or education because they need greater help to prepare for employment. Our bill simplifies these rules so states will be encouraged, and rewarded, for helping more TANF recipients prepare for work through education, find jobs, and escape poverty.”
The Medina County Economic Development Corporation said it “supports Congressman Renacci’s efforts to provide more flexibility in TANF regulations that would encourage job seekers to seek education and training opportunities. The primary challenge facing businesses in Medina County is a lack of trained workers, and our employers would welcome any effort to expand the labor pool. We believe this legislation will help the underemployed to overcome barriers and qualify them for full-time employment offering family sustaining wages and benefits.”
“Affording people the opportunity to increase their literacy skills will allow them to access in-demand jobs and vocational training programs that can lead to family-sustaining wages and reduce reliance on government assistance,” said the Literacy Cooperative. “Moreover, when parents increase their literacy skills, they can better assist their children to be successful in school and break the cycle of poverty.”
The Preparing More Welfare Recipients for Work Act would allow an individual up to age 26 to have their hours spent completing their GED count towards their work requirement – raised from the current age of 20. Additionally, it would allow individuals to count participation in vocational education for up to 24 months instead of the current 12 months. It would also encourage states to engage TANF recipients in more activities that lead to self-reliance and better employment opportunities, as well as simplify the current work participation requirement each state must meet.
Renacci has represented the 16th district of Ohio since 2011 and sits on the Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee.