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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: Burd-Sharps, Sarah; Lewis, Kristen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    In 2016, the number of young people disconnected from both work and school declined for the sixth year in a row. The 2016 disconnected youth rate of 11.7 percent represents a 20 percent decrease since 2010, when disconnection peaked in the aftermath of the Great Recession—about 1.2 million fewer young people. A large group of young people saw their opportunities expand alongside the expanding economy; the youth unemployment rate was roughly half in 2016 what it was in 2010. But not all young people saw growth: 4.6 million young women and men remain disconnected from both school and the labor market, unmoored from routines of work and school that give shape, purpose, and direction to one’s days, and deprived of experiences that build knowledge, networks, skills, and confidence.

    More than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today analyzes youth disconnection in the United States by state, metro area, county, and community type, and by gender, race, and ethnicity. Disconnected youth, also known as opportunity youth, are teenagers and young...

    In 2016, the number of young people disconnected from both work and school declined for the sixth year in a row. The 2016 disconnected youth rate of 11.7 percent represents a 20 percent decrease since 2010, when disconnection peaked in the aftermath of the Great Recession—about 1.2 million fewer young people. A large group of young people saw their opportunities expand alongside the expanding economy; the youth unemployment rate was roughly half in 2016 what it was in 2010. But not all young people saw growth: 4.6 million young women and men remain disconnected from both school and the labor market, unmoored from routines of work and school that give shape, purpose, and direction to one’s days, and deprived of experiences that build knowledge, networks, skills, and confidence.

    More than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today analyzes youth disconnection in the United States by state, metro area, county, and community type, and by gender, race, and ethnicity. Disconnected youth, also known as opportunity youth, are teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. This report is the first in Measure of America’s disconnected youth series to compare American and European metro areas or to examine disconnection by group characteristics such as poverty status, motherhood, marriage status, disability, English proficiency, citizenship, educational attainment, institutionalization, and household composition for different racial and ethnic groups. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Hoffman, Denise; Hemmeter, Jeffrey; Bailey, Michelle S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are presumed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and youth who receive SSI may access those services as they prepare for the transition from school to work. Vocational rehabilitation (VR) is intended to help youth with disabilities become employed and maintain employment and thereby lessen their reliance on disability benefits in adulthood. In passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, policymakers sought to expand VR and complementary services for transition-age youth with disabilities, in part to improve their employment outcomes in adulthood and decrease their reliance on benefits. In this brief, we document the rates of participation in VR by youth SSI recipients, describe the characteristics of youth who receive VR, and report on the association between youth’s VR participation and their employment and benefit outcomes in adulthood. Our findings indicate that, in 2001, 13 percent of youth SSI recipients ages 14 to 17 reported receiving VR services. Thirteen years later, when these individuals were...

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are presumed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and youth who receive SSI may access those services as they prepare for the transition from school to work. Vocational rehabilitation (VR) is intended to help youth with disabilities become employed and maintain employment and thereby lessen their reliance on disability benefits in adulthood. In passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014, policymakers sought to expand VR and complementary services for transition-age youth with disabilities, in part to improve their employment outcomes in adulthood and decrease their reliance on benefits. In this brief, we document the rates of participation in VR by youth SSI recipients, describe the characteristics of youth who receive VR, and report on the association between youth’s VR participation and their employment and benefit outcomes in adulthood. Our findings indicate that, in 2001, 13 percent of youth SSI recipients ages 14 to 17 reported receiving VR services. Thirteen years later, when these individuals were ages 27 to 30, a higher proportion had substantial earnings and a lower proportion received SSI compared with other SSI recipients who did not receive VR services, holding observable characteristics constant. We cannot determine the extent to which the associations between VR and these adult outcomes reflect unobserved differences between youth who participate in VR and those who do not versus the effect of VR services on outcomes. Nonetheless, the promising associations between VR and long-term adult outcomes highlight the potential benefits of providing early support to transition-age youth. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Adams, Gina; Spaulding, Shayne; Heller, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Miller, Cynthia; Millenky, Megan; Schwartz, Lisa; Goble, Lisbeth; Stein, Jillian
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Young people have been hit especially hard by changes in the labor market over the past decades. Unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds increased the most of any age group during the recent recession, and remains more than double that among older adults. The unemployment rate is especially high for young people without high school diplomas. YouthBuild is one program that attempts to help this group, serving over 10,000 of them each year at over 250 organizations nationwide. Each organization provides construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, counseling, and leadership-development opportunities to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school.

    YouthBuild is being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, in which eligible young people at participating programs were assigned either to a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or to a control group, referred to other services in the community. The evaluation includes 75 programs across the country funded by the U.S. Department of Labor or the Corporation for...

    Young people have been hit especially hard by changes in the labor market over the past decades. Unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds increased the most of any age group during the recent recession, and remains more than double that among older adults. The unemployment rate is especially high for young people without high school diplomas. YouthBuild is one program that attempts to help this group, serving over 10,000 of them each year at over 250 organizations nationwide. Each organization provides construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, counseling, and leadership-development opportunities to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school.

    YouthBuild is being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, in which eligible young people at participating programs were assigned either to a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or to a control group, referred to other services in the community. The evaluation includes 75 programs across the country funded by the U.S. Department of Labor or the Corporation for National and Community Service and nearly 4,000 young people who enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2013. This report, the second in the evaluation, presents the program’s effects on young people through two and a half years. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hossain, Farhana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law in 2014, is the first major update in nearly 15 years to guide how the public workforce system helps job seekers access education, training, and employment. Compared with its predecessor — the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) — the new law puts greater emphasis on serving out-of-school youth through training and services that are employer driven and linked to labor market demand. WIOA defines out-of-school youth as 16- to 24-year-olds who are not attending any school and who have one or more barriers to employment, such as young people who are homeless, are parenting, have disabilities, or have a juvenile or criminal record.

    This eight-page report draws upon available research and the MDRC staff’s on-the-ground experience to summarize existing knowledge that can guide implementation of key WIOA provisions on serving out-of-school youth. It is organized in four sections: The first two sections focus on strategies for reaching and engaging a greater number of out-of-school youth, especially...

    The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law in 2014, is the first major update in nearly 15 years to guide how the public workforce system helps job seekers access education, training, and employment. Compared with its predecessor — the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) — the new law puts greater emphasis on serving out-of-school youth through training and services that are employer driven and linked to labor market demand. WIOA defines out-of-school youth as 16- to 24-year-olds who are not attending any school and who have one or more barriers to employment, such as young people who are homeless, are parenting, have disabilities, or have a juvenile or criminal record.

    This eight-page report draws upon available research and the MDRC staff’s on-the-ground experience to summarize existing knowledge that can guide implementation of key WIOA provisions on serving out-of-school youth. It is organized in four sections: The first two sections focus on strategies for reaching and engaging a greater number of out-of-school youth, especially those who are most vulnerable; the third section reviews evidence on career pathway programs; and the final section discusses strategies for engaging private sector employers in job-related initiatives for youth. (author abstract)

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