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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: Hamadyk, Jill; Gardiner, Karen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This brief summarizes the experiences of leaders and staff from eight career pathways programs that participated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Evaluation. Based on firsthand accounts, the brief describes how staff perceived the benefits of participating in the randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation, the challenges they experienced—in particular recruiting study participants and implementing its random assignment procedures—and how they overcame challenges. The brief then describes lessons staff learned from participating in PACE. The insights presented below will be helpful for future evaluation teams as they approach potential study sites, as well as for programs considering participating in a rigorous evaluation. (Edited author introduction)

     

    This brief summarizes the experiences of leaders and staff from eight career pathways programs that participated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Evaluation. Based on firsthand accounts, the brief describes how staff perceived the benefits of participating in the randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation, the challenges they experienced—in particular recruiting study participants and implementing its random assignment procedures—and how they overcame challenges. The brief then describes lessons staff learned from participating in PACE. The insights presented below will be helpful for future evaluation teams as they approach potential study sites, as well as for programs considering participating in a rigorous evaluation. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Harvill, Eleanor; Litwok, Daniel; Schwartz, Deena; De La Rosa, Siobhan Mills; Saunders, Correne; Bell, Stephen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance applicants in New York City. From 2015 to 2016, the New York City Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration administered two JSA programs for “job ready” cash assistance applicants: Back to Work (known as B2W, the pre-existing program) and Independent Job Search (IJS, a new program). The study examined the effects of these programs on cash assistance applicants, including both families with children and single, childless adults, who were determined to be able to work and who might need less job search assistance than other applicants.

    Using a rigorous research design, the study did not find a difference in employment rates or earnings during the six month follow-up period. However, compared to the IJS program, the B2W program increased the rate at which cash assistance applications were denied for not meeting application requirements and decreased the receipt of...

    This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance applicants in New York City. From 2015 to 2016, the New York City Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration administered two JSA programs for “job ready” cash assistance applicants: Back to Work (known as B2W, the pre-existing program) and Independent Job Search (IJS, a new program). The study examined the effects of these programs on cash assistance applicants, including both families with children and single, childless adults, who were determined to be able to work and who might need less job search assistance than other applicants.

    Using a rigorous research design, the study did not find a difference in employment rates or earnings during the six month follow-up period. However, compared to the IJS program, the B2W program increased the rate at which cash assistance applications were denied for not meeting application requirements and decreased the receipt of cash assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. While participation in job search assistance services was high for both groups, compared to IJS, those assigned to the B2W program were more likely to participate in group and one-on-one activities and to attend these activities for a greater number of hours. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Williams, Sonya; Hendra, Richard
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Programs designed to help disadvantaged workers improve their labor-market prospects may have effects beyond improvements in employment rates and income. One possible supplementary effect is improvements in subjective well-being, or how participants feel about their current life situations. Subjective well-being is important because there are social costs related to lower levels of well-being, and because a person’s outlook has been demonstrated to have an effect on his or her future behavior. The Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (STED) is designed to investigate the effects of subsidized and transitional employment programs on both financial and nonfinancial well-being. The STED project is evaluating a total of eight subsidized employment programs in seven locations across the United States, all of which aim to improve participants’ long-term success in the labor market. The programs target groups considered “hard to employ” (recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF], people with criminal records, young people who are neither in school nor...

    Programs designed to help disadvantaged workers improve their labor-market prospects may have effects beyond improvements in employment rates and income. One possible supplementary effect is improvements in subjective well-being, or how participants feel about their current life situations. Subjective well-being is important because there are social costs related to lower levels of well-being, and because a person’s outlook has been demonstrated to have an effect on his or her future behavior. The Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (STED) is designed to investigate the effects of subsidized and transitional employment programs on both financial and nonfinancial well-being. The STED project is evaluating a total of eight subsidized employment programs in seven locations across the United States, all of which aim to improve participants’ long-term success in the labor market. The programs target groups considered “hard to employ” (recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF], people with criminal records, young people who are neither in school nor working, noncustodial parents, and others), and they use subsidies to give participants opportunities to learn employment skills while working in supportive settings, or to help them get a foot in the door with employers. Most of the programs also provide support services to help participants address personal barriers to steady work. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Moore, Quinn; Avellar, Sarah; Patnaik, Ankita ; Covington, Reginald; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Growing up with two parents in a stable, low-conflict family can improve children’s lives in a broad range of areas. However, the economic and other challenges faced by low-income families can make it hard for these families to achieve a stable, low-conflict family environment. Recognizing this challenge, as well as the potential benefits of healthy marriages and relationships for low-income families, the federal government has funded programming to encourage healthy marriage and relationships for many years. To expand our understanding of what works in healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT Healthy Marriage (HM) impact study included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two HMRE programs funded and overseen by OFA....

    Growing up with two parents in a stable, low-conflict family can improve children’s lives in a broad range of areas. However, the economic and other challenges faced by low-income families can make it hard for these families to achieve a stable, low-conflict family environment. Recognizing this challenge, as well as the potential benefits of healthy marriages and relationships for low-income families, the federal government has funded programming to encourage healthy marriage and relationships for many years. To expand our understanding of what works in healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT Healthy Marriage (HM) impact study included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two HMRE programs funded and overseen by OFA. This report discusses the impacts of these programs about one year after study enrollment on (1) the status and quality of the couples’ relationships, (2) the co-parenting relationships, and (3) job and career advancement.

    From among all HMRE programs that received OFA funding through grants issued in 2011, the study team selected two for the PACT HM study: (1) Supporting Healthy Relationships, at University Behavioral Associates in the Bronx, New York; and (2) the Healthy Opportunities for Marriage Enrichment Program, at the El Paso Center for Children in El Paso, Texas. As a requirement of their grants, the two programs offered services to support and strengthen couples’ relationships. The relationship skills workshops at both programs covered similar topics, such as understanding partner’s perspectives, developing strategies to avoid fighting, and communicating effectively. In response to the funding announcement, the two programs integrated job and career advancement services into their programs. Both programs offered two-hour stand-alone job and career advancement workshops and one-on-one meetings with employment specialists. Supporting Healthy Relationships also integrated four hours of content related to economic and financial well-being into the relationship skills workshops. Participation rates were high for the HM programs in PACT, although attendance at the relationship skills workshops was much higher than for job and career advancement services.

    Couples in the PACT HM study were in relatively stable and committed relationships when they enrolled in the study. Of the 1,595 study couples, 59% reported being married when they enrolled and about half of the study couples had been together for at least five years. About three-quarters of the couples were Hispanic. Most couples were in their 30s and had relatively low levels of education and earnings. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Fein, David; Hamadyk, Jill
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report assesses the implementation and early impacts of Year Up, a national sectoral training program for young adults aged 18-24. Year Up aims to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete training leading to employment in high-demand, well-paying occupations. It is among nine programs Abt Associates is evaluating in Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE)—a study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. Operated by an organization of the same name, Year Up provides young adults with six months of full-time training in the IT and financial service sectors followed by six-month internships at major firms. The full-time program provides extensive supports—including weekly stipends—and puts a heavy emphasis on the development of professional and technical skills. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that young adults with access to Year Up had higher average quarterly earnings in the sixth and seventh quarters after random assignment—the confirmatory outcome selected to gauge Year Up’s overall success for this report....

    This report assesses the implementation and early impacts of Year Up, a national sectoral training program for young adults aged 18-24. Year Up aims to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete training leading to employment in high-demand, well-paying occupations. It is among nine programs Abt Associates is evaluating in Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE)—a study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. Operated by an organization of the same name, Year Up provides young adults with six months of full-time training in the IT and financial service sectors followed by six-month internships at major firms. The full-time program provides extensive supports—including weekly stipends—and puts a heavy emphasis on the development of professional and technical skills. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that young adults with access to Year Up had higher average quarterly earnings in the sixth and seventh quarters after random assignment—the confirmatory outcome selected to gauge Year Up’s overall success for this report. Compared to control group members who were not able to access the program, treatment group members also were more likely to report that their classes used active learning methods, taught life skills, and were relevant to their lives and careers. Persisting over a three-year follow-up period, Year Up’s earnings impacts are the largest reported to date for workforce programs tested using a random assignment design. (Author abstract)

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