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Martin disagrees with report

Lawrence County Jobs and Family Services Director Buddy Martin is not happy with a recent study that suggested the state's success in trimming the welfare rolls is due to the economy.

According to the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation study, the drop in the welfare caseload may have had more to do with the strong economy than with new state programs. The study was published Sept. 3, 2002.

Martin said the study is "total bull …"

"I've been in this business 23 years, "Martin said. "The economy has been good several times, the economy has been bad several times, and we haven't this significant a drop before."

Martin said since reforms were enacted in 1997,

Lawrence County's welfare rolls have been trimmed by 65 percent, in spite of a struggling economy. While he agrees the economy has aided in this success, he said the study

shorts all the people at local offices who have taken advantage of the new forms to empower welfare recipients to get off the welfare rolls and get into the work force.

"When this started in 1997, an awful lot of people spent an awful lot of time making this work," Martin said.

The Manpower study said recent statistics show the number of welfare applicants is on the rise in some areas due to problems with the U.S. economy.

Martin said he didn't look for the number of welfare cases to rise significantly in Lawrence County, even with a slowed national financial picture.

"Yes, we'll pick up a few, but we'll work them right back into the work force some place else," Martin said. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune