By Ashley Conroy - email
JACKSON, MS -- Mississippi ranks first in the nation under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work program.
TWP is tailored to help needy parents who may have lost their job or don't have a job who are trying to get back into the workforce.
Director of the Mississippi TANF program, Vera Butler says participants have a maximum of five years to complete the program and be successful working on their own.
"We provide supportive services for the families because we know that coming into the program you might have barriers you might need child care or transportation. We'll also give you what we call a $300 a month work stipend that you can use for transportation and other incidental expenses."
Butler says certain criteria needs to be met in order to stay active in the program. But overall, she says their goal is to get people a job and once they find a job, to keep them in that position.
"We offer classes in soft skills training so to speak where we show you how to get the job, get to work on time. If you're getting ready to, maybe [get] in an argument, and you have a problem on that job, don't quit that job. Come talk to us and let us work through those problems together because we want you to stay employed."
Nationally, the TWP participation for FY 2008 was 29.4 percent. In Mississippi, those figures were much higher at 63.2 percent statewide.
However, Butler says these figures could be even higher for 2009 when those official numbers are published.
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