Ann Sanner

COLUMBUS: Ohio officials have asked the federal government for more flexibility in the work requirements that some welfare recipients must meet.

Gov. John Kasichís administration says certain federal rules donít give people enough time to complete vocational training or job-readiness activities.

For instance, state officials want to increase a limit on vocational education training from 12 months to 36.

The Kasich administration says training for a number of in-demand jobs exceeds 12 months, with at least five semesters of courses required to become a paralegal or dental hygienist.

The request comes as Kasichís administration seeks to better help needy families move off public assistance and into sustainable jobs.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the agency is reviewing Ohioís request, made in October.