Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative: How TANF Can Support Skills for Low-income Parents, and How Policymakers Can Help

Low-income parents have much to gain from pathways into high-paying jobs. The Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) in Arkansas is an example of a successful state policy that leverages federal funds through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to help low-income parents gain workforce skills. The program has seen considerable success since it was launched in 2005: 72 percent of completers entered employment, and 92 percent of program graduates who found employment were still employed after 12 months.

This brief from National Skills Coalition profiles Arkansas’ CPI program and identifies action steps that state policymakers, advocates and stakeholders can take to develop similar programs. The brief also provides recommendations for federal policymakers to drive future legislation in support of low-income job seekers. 

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October 2016