In spite of public consensus that education and training lead to economic advancement, recent federal policies have made it harder for low-income Americans to get the education and training they need to succeed in today's economy. A number of recent federal policies, like the 1996 law that established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare program, have in different ways adopted a "work first" approach that encourages or requires low-income adults to find employment immediately, rather than allowing them first to develop skills that might lead to better jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits, and opportunities for steady work and advancement. This policy shift away from skills training and toward work first strategies has come about, in part, from a misconception that "training does not work." Many policymakers have heard that government-sponsored research -- such as the National Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Study, the Greater Avenues to Independence (GAIN) Evaluation and the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) -- shows that low-income adults who receive training do no better in the job market than people who do not receive such services, or who receive only the less expensive job search assistance typical of many work first strategies. In fact, a more comprehensive look at the existing research reveals the documented effectiveness of skills training.