Dane County To Operate W-2 Program For Another Four Years

December 06, 2005
David W Carlson, Public Relations Manager, Dane County Human Services, (608) 242-6424.
Badger Prairie

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced that the county has formally signed a contract with the State Department of Workforce Development to continue operating the W-2 program in Dane and three other counties as part of the Capitol Consortium. The consortium, which includes Dane, Sauk, Marquette and Dodge Counties, was formed two years ago. “Declining financial support from the State for W-2 and some other program changes caused us to look hard at whether we should continue to operate this program,” said County Executive Falk. “In the end, we decided the people served by W-2 in Dane County would be best served by our continued involvement with the program and the connections to other important human services programs that we provide.” The new W-2 contract between the State and the Capitol Consortium covers a four-year period from 2006-2009. Previous contracts have been for two-year periods. The new contract provides the Capitol Consortium with $11,446,401 to operate W-2 in the four counties for the next two years (2006-2007) of which $9,774,160 is allocated to Dane County. The Capitol Consortium received $14.5 million for the 2004-2005 contract period while the four counties had received a total of $19.8 million to operate W-2 in the 2002-2003 contract. Each county in the consortium operated its own W-2 program, since W-2’s inception in 1997, before joining forces in 2003. Wisconsin Works replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program in September 1997 and focuses on finding work for W-2 participants, including unsubsidized employment, community service jobs, trial jobs, and transition to work activities. Each county operates the program under its human services department, providing seamless links to other non-W-2 services that may benefit W-2 participants, such as child care, short term training, job placement, transportation, food share, medical assistance and Badger Care. “The Capitol Consortium combines the resources and the best practices of our four counties to guarantee a comprehensive and effective program for those we serve,” said Falk. “We look forward to continuing this partnership.” W-2 is based on work participation and personal responsibility. Under W-2, there is no entitlement to assistance, but there is a place for everyone who is willing to work to their ability. The program is available to low-income parents with minor children. Each W-2 eligible participant meets with a Financial and Employment Planner (FEP), who helps the individual develop a self-sufficiency plan and determine his or her place on the W-2 employment ladder. In 2004, more than 1,200 Dane County families participated in the W-2 program at some point. The average monthly W-2 caseload in Dane County so far has been a little over 400 families. # # #