Alfred, M.V. & Martin, L.G. (2007). The development of economic self-sufficiency among former welfare recipients: lessons learned from Wisconsin’s welfare to work program. International Journal of Training & Development (11)1. 2-20.
Alfred & Martin (2007) explore barriers impeding economic development for former welfare recipients and the programs in place for assistance in “The development of economic self-sufficiency among former welfare recipients: lessons learned from Wisconsin’s welfare to work program.” They administered written surveys and conducted telephone surveys of employers and service providers working with members of Wisconsin’s welfare to work program to collect data about perceived barriers and services and programs designed to address these barriers. The following barriers were identified from the survey findings: situational barriers, education and learning experience barriers, personal issues and disabilities. Employers and service providers identified education and learning experience barriers and situational issues such as childcare or transportation as most pervasive. The following services and programs were found to be in place to address these issues: support services, such as childcare and transportation assistance; educational and learning programs; employer intervention services; and counseling services. Support services were found to have the highest effectiveness rating by employers. These authors argue that barriers for economic development in this population are often researched but that the perspectives of employers in developing programs to assist them are not often considered; this study attempted to address this gap. Findings from this study could be useful in aligning objectives of public services with employer and employee needs for integration of former welfare recipients into the workforce.