Jason A. Turner
Jason A. Turner is the Commissioner of
New York City's Human Resources Administration. As Commissioner,
he is the chief executive officer of the nation's largest cash assistance
and Medicaid system, with a budget of over five billion dollars and 18,000
New York under Mayor Giuliani is notable for successfully providing
work opportunities on a large scale for those receiving cash assistance
benefits. Every day tens of thousands of New Yorkers in need of temporary
assistance contribute to their communities through work, helping to keep
the city clean, improving the parks, helping out in hospitals, and performing
countless other tasks which improve the lives of residents and give valuable
work experience to those just getting started.
In his 1998 State of the City Address, the Mayor outlined several initiatives
for his second term, which Turner is charged with implementing. Some
of these include:
Prior to his appointment by the Mayor, Mr. Turner was the Executive Director
of the Center for Self-Sufficiency in Milwaukee.
Moving welfare from a cash distribution system to a work opportunity system
in which benefits are received in exchange for work performed, with appropriate
work supports available such as childcare and medical assistance.
In the future, applying for cash assistance will be the same as applying
for a job, and welfare offices will become job centers.
Introducing a system of work opportunities for individuals of all capabilities
and circumstances, so that every adult can contribute to their community
while improving their work skills and employability.
Using performance-based funding allocations to improve the effectiveness
of the work opportunity systems so as to achieve the above objectives.
From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Turner was a member of the Administration of
Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. He began by managing the statewide
JOBS program, and later was called upon by the Governor to direct the planning
effort to develop an alternative to AFDC. Mr. Turner's planning effort
resulted in the program called "Wisconsin Works," or W2, which went into
effect in September of 1997.
Between 1989 and 1993, Mr. Turner was the director of the federal AFDC
and JOBS programs at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington.
During his tenure in the Bush Administration, Mr. Turner helped develop
the federal regulations governing the JOBS program, where he oriented the
program to facilitate early employment.
Before joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Turner was a program manager
at the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mr. Turner is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. He
is married with four children.
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