U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) Tuesday questioned Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta about efforts to measure outcomes in workforce development initiatives and ensure these programs are effective in helping people move up the economic ladder.
“I chaired the Nutrition Subcommittee for the Ag Committee in 2015 and 2016, and we conducted a comprehensive review of SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, over 16 hearings,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “One theme that stuck out is the idea of moving away from just counting the number served and focusing instead on outcomes. We can’t just stop at asking how many people received benefits. We need to go a step deeper: Did the recipient get and keep a job? Are they moving up the economic ladder? If not, what happened? We get a much more comprehensive picture from which we can evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.”
Video of Walorski questioning Acosta at today’s hearing is available here.
The hearing on “Jobs and Opportunity: Federal Perspectives on the Jobs Gap” was part of a series of hearings examining the gap between businesses’ demand for workers and the millions of Americans not in the labor force. The first hearing last week included testimony from a Hoosier boat manufacturer.
According to the Ways and Means Committee, 5.5 million Americans aged 16 to 24 – one in seven – are not working or in school, and an additional 7 million working-age men are not working or looking for work.
As chair of the Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition in the 114th Congress, Walorski helped lead a two-year review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In a series of 16 hearings, the subcommittee and full committee examined the past, present, and future of the anti-hunger program to identify successes and areas in need of improvement.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.