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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Bellotti, Jeanne; Sattar, Samina; Gould-Werth, Alix; Berk, Jillian; Gutierrez, Ivette; Stein, Jillian; Betesh, Hannah; Ochoa, Lindsay; Wiegand, Andrew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs...

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs when the DOL-funded grant ended. The grants covered 9 months of planning and 15 months of service delivery, with many grantees receiving up to a one-year no-cost extension to finish spending down remaining grant resources. Grantees were geographically diverse, located in 13 states across 5 DOL regions, and involved a total of 22 county jails.

    Workforce development, corrections, and other partners, as well as participants, identified many successes along with significant challenges and promising strategies to address them. The qualitative evidence collected through this implementation evaluation suggests that introducing new services, partnerships, and ways of thinking about reentry hold promise for lasting effects on the workforce and corrections systems in some sites. The experiences of the LEAP grantees highlight important lessons learned and some areas for continued refinement or potential replication in similar or different contexts. Although this implementation evaluation cannot make causal claims, the evidence suggests that it is possible to use jail-based AJCs to link participants to post-release services and that this may be a promising approach to support returning individuals in successful reentry. (Edited author executive summary)

  • Individual Author: Israel, Dina; Behrmann, Rebecca; Wulfsohn, Samantha
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This brief introduces the Building Bridges and Bonds study (B3) to practitioners and stakeholders in the fatherhood field. It describes three innovative practices for Responsible Fatherhood programs. Each innovation is practical and interactive and addresses issues important to low-income fathers. The B3 team selected them for their high potential to provide useful lessons for the field. The team then collaborated with local fatherhood programs and program developers to tailor the innovations for B3. The brief is the first in a series of publications on B3, its findings, and the lessons learned. (Author introduction)

     

    This brief introduces the Building Bridges and Bonds study (B3) to practitioners and stakeholders in the fatherhood field. It describes three innovative practices for Responsible Fatherhood programs. Each innovation is practical and interactive and addresses issues important to low-income fathers. The B3 team selected them for their high potential to provide useful lessons for the field. The team then collaborated with local fatherhood programs and program developers to tailor the innovations for B3. The brief is the first in a series of publications on B3, its findings, and the lessons learned. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Flocke, Susan A. ; Ohri-Vachispati, Punam; Shon, En-Jung; Trapl, Erika S.; Borawski, Elaine; Matlack, Kristen; Freedman, Darcy A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Access to nutritious foods is key to achieving health promotion goals. While there is evidence that nutritious food access is complex, measures assessing multiple domains of access, including spatial-temporal, economic, social, service delivery and personal, are lacking. The current study evaluates psychometric properties of scales designed to measure perceptions of multiple domains of nutritious food access among low-income populations.

    A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2015. Eighty-one items were selected or developed to represent five domains of nutritious food access for food shopping overall and specific to shopping at farmers’ markets. Evaluation of the items included exploratory factor analysis within each domain and internal consistency reliability for each of the sub-scales.

    Data were collected in seventeen urban neighbourhoods in Greater Cleveland, Ohio, USA that have high levels of poverty. All participants had access to at least one farmers’ market within 1·6 km (1 mile) of their home to standardize spatial access to nutritious foods.

    ...

    Access to nutritious foods is key to achieving health promotion goals. While there is evidence that nutritious food access is complex, measures assessing multiple domains of access, including spatial-temporal, economic, social, service delivery and personal, are lacking. The current study evaluates psychometric properties of scales designed to measure perceptions of multiple domains of nutritious food access among low-income populations.

    A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2015. Eighty-one items were selected or developed to represent five domains of nutritious food access for food shopping overall and specific to shopping at farmers’ markets. Evaluation of the items included exploratory factor analysis within each domain and internal consistency reliability for each of the sub-scales.

    Data were collected in seventeen urban neighbourhoods in Greater Cleveland, Ohio, USA that have high levels of poverty. All participants had access to at least one farmers’ market within 1·6 km (1 mile) of their home to standardize spatial access to nutritious foods.

    Adults (n 304) receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

    Each domain included multiple sub-domains: spatial-temporal (four), service delivery (two), economic (two), social (three) and personal (three), for a total of fourteen subdomains. The internal consistency reliability for one of the sub-domains was outstanding (>0·90), seven were excellent (0·80–0·89), five were very good (0·70–0·79) and one scale had poor reliability (0·58).

    Multiple sub-domains of nutritious food access can be assessed using short measures that have been tested for internal consistency. These measures are suitable for assessing the complex phenomena of nutritious food access among low-income populations. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hendra, Richard ; Greenberg, David H.; Hamilton, Gayle; Oppenheim, Ari; Pennington, Alexandra; Schaberg, Kelsey; Tessler, Betsy L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report summarizes the two-year findings of a rigorous random assignment evaluation of the WorkAdvance model, a sectoral training and advancement initiative. Launched in 2011, WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs by introducing demand-driven skills training and a focus on jobs that have career pathways. The model is heavily influenced by the positive findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study (SEIS) completed in 2010. A major component of the WorkAdvance model, in common with the programs studied in the SEIS, is formal training offering industry-recognized certifications, reflecting the hypothesis that skills acquisition is necessary for advancement. The model also requires providers to be far more employer-facing than traditional training programs, taking into account multiple employers’ changing skill requirements, employee assessment practices, and personnel needs. This report presents the implementation, cost, participation, and two-year economic impacts of WorkAdvance. The economic results are based on unemployment insurance...

    This report summarizes the two-year findings of a rigorous random assignment evaluation of the WorkAdvance model, a sectoral training and advancement initiative. Launched in 2011, WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs by introducing demand-driven skills training and a focus on jobs that have career pathways. The model is heavily influenced by the positive findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study (SEIS) completed in 2010. A major component of the WorkAdvance model, in common with the programs studied in the SEIS, is formal training offering industry-recognized certifications, reflecting the hypothesis that skills acquisition is necessary for advancement. The model also requires providers to be far more employer-facing than traditional training programs, taking into account multiple employers’ changing skill requirements, employee assessment practices, and personnel needs. This report presents the implementation, cost, participation, and two-year economic impacts of WorkAdvance. The economic results are based on unemployment insurance earnings records and a second-year follow-up survey.

    The WorkAdvance program operations and evaluation are funded through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a public-private partnership administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This SIF project is led by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity in collaboration with MDRC.

    Key Findings

    • All providers translated the WorkAdvance model into a set of concrete services, but it took time — more than a year for some components and providers — and a substantial amount of technical assistance and support. As a result, at some sites, later study enrollees were more likely than earlier ones to experience a fully implemented and “mature” WorkAdvance program.
    • Overall, WorkAdvance resulted in very large increases in participation in every category of services, as well as in training completion and credential acquisition, compared with what would have happened in the absence of the program. Expenditures for the operation of WorkAdvance fell between $5,200 and $6,700 per participant at the four providers delivering the program.
    • WorkAdvance providers increased earnings, with variation in results that closely matched the providers’ experience in running sector-based programs and the extent to which the services they offered were demand driven. The most experienced sectoral provider, Per Scholas, had large and consistent impacts on both primary and secondary outcomes. Madison Strategies Group and Towards Employment, providers new to sectoral training, had promising but less consistent results that grew stronger for later enrollees. One provider, St. Nicks Alliance, did not produce positive impacts. The results did not differ dramatically across subgroups, though encouragingly, WorkAdvance was able to increase earnings among the long-term unemployed.

    The evaluation as a whole provides important information for workforce development providers interested in pursuing a sector strategy. The analysis considers the role played by providers’ sector-specific training and preparation and the role played by the nature of the sectors themselves. Future priorities that emerge from the results are (1) understanding how to help the more disadvantaged access the programs and (2) learning how to build service capacity, given how complex the model is to run. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Darby, Derrick; Saatcioglu, Argun
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Both neoliberals and liberals call for mitigating inequality of educational opportunity stemming from circumstances beyond an individual’s control. In this article, we challenge the wisdom of making equality of opportunity hinge on emphasizing the distinction rather than the relationship between choices and circumstances. We utilize an empirical analysis focusing on the extent to which certain circumstances beyond the control of low-income urban Black adults (e.g. poverty and community instability) limit their eventual chances for maintaining traditional two-parent households, which in turn limits their capacity to make effective choices instrumental in improving the educational prospects of their children. We conclude from this that collectively bearing the burden of attending to differences in the quality of circumstances – in which these voluntary choices are made by poor urban Black parents – is something that we owe to each other whether we are neoliberals or liberals if we share a common normative commitment to equality of opportunity. (author abstract)

    Both neoliberals and liberals call for mitigating inequality of educational opportunity stemming from circumstances beyond an individual’s control. In this article, we challenge the wisdom of making equality of opportunity hinge on emphasizing the distinction rather than the relationship between choices and circumstances. We utilize an empirical analysis focusing on the extent to which certain circumstances beyond the control of low-income urban Black adults (e.g. poverty and community instability) limit their eventual chances for maintaining traditional two-parent households, which in turn limits their capacity to make effective choices instrumental in improving the educational prospects of their children. We conclude from this that collectively bearing the burden of attending to differences in the quality of circumstances – in which these voluntary choices are made by poor urban Black parents – is something that we owe to each other whether we are neoliberals or liberals if we share a common normative commitment to equality of opportunity. (author abstract)

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