Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 19, 1999

Forum set on welfare reform

by Kevin Brown

A strong economy is helping people on welfare find work, but that doesn't necessarily translate into good paying jobs with opportunities for advancement.

This was among the preliminary findings of a continuing study being conducted by faculty in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The findings will be discussed during a March 23 public forum called "Welfare Reform in Iowa: Welfare or Poverty Reduction?"

The study profiles five families in each of seven communities (Cedar Rapids, Mount Ayr, Fort Madison, Manchester, Hampton, Marshalltown and Storm Lake). Other preliminary findings show:

The ongoing study began in 1997.

The forum will be opened by Shirley Zimmerman, this year's Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair. Zimmerman is a professor at the University of Minnesota and a noted scholar on welfare reform issues, especially in the Midwestern states. She will provide historical and political background about the current movement on welfare reform.

A panel of state and local policy makers will discuss welfare issues and answer audience questions. Members of the panel will be Scott Miller, Ames Beyond Welfare project; and state senators Elaine Szymoniak (D-Des Moines) and Johnie Hammond (D-Ames), who is on the Iowa Senate Human Resources Committee.

The forum will be from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cindy Needles-Fletcher, 4-8521.

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