A FAREWELL TO WELFARE : THE SUMMIT.Byline: Deborah Adamson Daily News Staff Writer
When Chanda Peters got a job after two years of depending on welfare, she was so happy she cried.
The 38-year-old New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of native, who now lives in Inglewood, was offered a receptionist's position at a Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. nonprofit business group in 1995. After three months, the company promoted her to program associate.
``I'm in a better situation now to take care of my children,'' she says today. ``I can splurge on them on their birthdays and give them allowances.''
Peters represents the hope of the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. Welfare-to-Work Summit to be held Thursday at Cal State Northridge.
The invitation-only meeting will bring together government representatives, business and community leaders to discuss the impact and implementation of a mandate by Congress last year for people on welfare to find employment.
Los Angeles County has 240,000 welfare recipients, of which 60,000 have to be employed or participating in a job training program by the end of 1997, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky Zev Yaroslavsky (born December 21, 1948) is a Los Angeles County politician. He served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1975 until 1994, when he was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He was preceded in both offices by Edmund D. Edelman. , who is sponsoring the event.
But while Southern California's economy has been looking brighter in recent years, it still might have trouble absorbing the extra work force, said Jack Kyser, chief economist The Chief Economist is a single position job class having primary responsibility for the development, coordination, and production of economic and financial analysis. It is distinguished from the other economist positions by the broader scope of responsibility encompassing the at the Economic Development Corp. in Los Angeles.
``We still haven't recovered all the jobs we lost in the restructuring,'' he said. ``There will be problems especially if we grow more slowly next year.''
He expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, slowing growth for the rest of the year and 1998. Kyser estimates 72,000 new jobs in the county next year, down from 90,000 in 1997.
Employing a welfare recipient also brings other concerns.
Many have little or no work history, lack a high school diploma A high school diploma is a diploma awarded for the completion of high school. In the United States and Canada, it is considered the minimum education required for government jobs and higher education. An equivalent is the GED. and need access to child care and transportation services. While large businesses can easily absorb some welfare workers, small- and midsize companies often can't afford to hire someone who can't hit the ground running, Kyser said.
These are some of the issues facing Linda Clayton, human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. director for Lamps Plus LAMPS PLUS, Inc. is a privately held corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells portable lighting, fixture lighting, home décor items and a variety of other related products. in Chatsworth. She's particularly concerned about welfare recipients finding child-care services and getting a ride to work.
Many businesses are confused about how welfare reform will be implemented and hope the summit can answer their questions, said Gary Thomas Gary Thomas (born June 6, 1961) is an American jazz saxophonist from Baltimore, Maryland. He is a member of Special Edition and has worked with Cassandra Wilson, Wallace Roney, Miles Davis and Steve Coleman. , president of the United Chambers of Commerce, a coalition of 24 chambers in the San Fernando Valley.
However, ``people are willing to participate,'' he added.
Consider Bobrick in North Hollywood, a maker of washroom products. Lester Hicks Hicks , Edward 1780-1849.
American painter of primitive works, notably The Peaceable Kingdom, of which nearly 100 versions exist. , human resources director, said the firm believes in helping people get out of ``unproductive situations.'' It is willing to hire former welfare recipients as job openings come up.
``You just need to give them a chance,'' he said.
Peters' helping hand came in the form of a letter from the Los Angeles County GAIN job training program in 1992.
It offered to pay for child care, tuition and books. For the next two years, she took classes.The program took care of her main reason for getting on welfare in 1987 - the single mother couldn't afford child care.
``If I didn't jump on that, I would have been lazy,'' Peters said.
In 1994, she went to work for a temporary agency, which eventually placed her with her current employer. She worked hard at her job and was never tardy tar·dy
adj. tar·di·er, tar·di·est
1. Occurring, arriving, acting, or done after the scheduled, expected, or usual time; late.
2. Moving slowly; sluggish. .
It paid off when the company noticed her dedication and hired her.
After working as a receptionist for three months, she was promoted to program associate, the assistant of the head of the nonprofit group.
Now that she's making more money than the $900 in cash and food stamps a month she received from welfare, Peters is saving up to buy a car.
``I was never satisfied with that (staying on welfare),'' she said. ``I didn't like it at all. People think you just want to be on it and have babies. Not everybody on welfare wants to be on it.''
WHAT: San Fernando Valley Welfare-to-Work Summit.
WHERE: Cal State Northridge.
WHO: Community and business leaders, by invitation only.
Overview on the economy, welfare reform and impact on the San Fernando Valley.
Overview of Los Angeles County's welfare-to-work and work programs, presentation from employers who participate in the GAIN job training program and from former public assistance recipients.
Ideas, thoughts and perspectives on welfare reform, welfare-to-work.
Photo: (Color) Chanda Peters of Inglewood is a former welfare recipient who took advantage of a county welfare-to-work program.
Hans Gutknecht/Daily News
Box: (Color) THE SUMMIT (See text)