Danielle and Alexander Slater are taking auto tech classes through a program offered by Catholic Charities. It's one of many short-term training programs welfare recipients can take that lead directly to jobs.
Danielle and Alexander Slater are taking auto tech classes through a program offered by Catholic Charities. It's one of many short-term training programs welfare recipients can take that lead directly to jobs. - 
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What's the best path out of poverty--work or education?

Twenty years ago, welfare reformers came to this fork in the road and had to ask the question: Is it better to encourage welfare recipients to get a job, any job? Or is it better to support them while they get training and education that will eventually help them get better-paying jobs?

In the end, welfare reformers adopted a "work-first" strategy that required most folks to work in order to receive cash welfare.

In this episode, the what if....

We meet two women. One dropped out of college so she could work and continue to receive cash welfare. The other was part of a program that allowed to finish her degree.

Welcome back to "The Uncertain Hour," the Wealth & Poverty desk's new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.


Follow Krissy Clark at @kristianiaclark