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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: April 20, 2016


DOVER (April 20, 2016) - In a ceremony today at Dover Downs Hotel, the Governor's Welfare Employment Committee announced the winners of its 2016 TANF Employment Awards of Excellence, which recognize employers who hire, train and maintain positive working relationships with employees who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, and TANF clients who have succeeded in the workplace despite the challenges they have encountered.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by individuals and organizations from communities throughout Delaware, and winners were selected by members of the Governor's Welfare Employment Committee. One award is presented to an employer and an employee in each county, as well as a statewide recipient receiving an employer and employee award.

"We look at ways to remove obstacles for people to get from TANF to sustainable employment," said Scott Welch, chair of the Governor's Welfare Employment Committee and owner of Mohawk Electrical Systems in Milford. "We're here to celebrate some good successes. They do happen every day."

The employee winners of the 2016 TANF Employment Awards of Excellence, who were honored at a breakfast ceremony, are:

The employer winners of the 2016 TANF Employment Awards of Excellence are:

The event was hosted by the Governor's Welfare Employment Committee, the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Labor, the Delaware Economic Development Office, and DART. All nominees were invited to the ceremony.

"By offering a safety net, government provides temporary support to individuals and their families in times of crisis, when they are most vulnerable," DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "But our true success - along with the success of our clients - is achieved when individuals and their families move from those temporary benefits, to necessary education and training, and finally, to full employment and self-sufficiency. We know the support we provide does change lives."

"The Awards of Excellence are an important way to honor the achievements of employers who recruit, hire and train Delawareans as they transition from temporary benefits to a positive working experience," Labor Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson said. "For our employers, they see the promise, the initiative and the commitment in the employees they hire. That makes a positive change for our entire state."

In addition to Secretaries Landgraf and Gilliam-Johnson, attendees also heard from Elaine Archangelo, former director of the Division of Social Services, on the changes to TANF in Delaware; Tanya Brewer and Tanya Warner, former clients of TANF who are success stories today; and keynote speaker Dr. Raymond Williams, president of Harvest Community Development, headmaster of Harvest Christian Academy and senior pastor of Faith Harvest Worship Center.

A total of 29 employees - 13 from New Castle County, and eight each from Kent and Sussex counties - were nominated, along with 20 employers. The employers nominated were:

To hire a TANF recipient or to learn more about the TANF employment initiative, contact the Delaware Department of Labor, at (302) 761-8085.

To learn more about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Delaware, go to the DHSS website.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.