February 1997 – The State WAGES Board designates the Polk County Workforce Board as the combined WAGES and Workforce Board for Polk County. Planning begins to take on this new responsibility.
April 1997 – The Board selects Lockheed Martin IMS as its primary provider of welfare reform services.The Board’s budget more than doubles to nearly 9 million dollars.
July 1997 – Marvin Hammer is reappointed as the Board’s Chair.
October 1997 – One year after it was passed into law, the welfare reform (WAGES) program has decreased welfare caseloads in Polk County by more than 60%.