Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

Project Prologue

Instigation of the Department of Workforce Services in Utah

Department of Workforce Services Introduction The real story of the Department of Workforce Services lies in its formation. This department combined four monster agencies each with their own political clout, with stake holders, community groups, businessmen, and stake holders. The department was up and working in a time period of only one to two years. The purpose of this report is to shed light on the formation of the department and the early days of its implementation. This is an account of its original foundation, its innovative design, its difficulties, the legislation involved, and the critical leadership of its founders. I. Utah Welfare Reform Debate Utah took advantage of its opportunities to try new things in welfare. Late in the Bangerter administration the state of Utah had asked for initial waivers to pilot a program under FDC. At that time when President Clinton took over, the idea of demonstrations and waivers in Section 1116 of the Social Security Act [http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title11/1116.htm ] allowed demonstrations of the welfare reform programs. The State of Utah was very aggressive in that effort. In fact, along with Wisconsin and a couple of other states they had some of the initial pilots of welfare reform. This (more…)


Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service