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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: Spaulding, Shayne; Blount, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Employers need skilled workers to fill open jobs. Yet some workers face barriers to employment, even as the national unemployment rate dips to its lowest level in nearly two decades. These workers might face such challenges as a lack of skills, gaps in employment, or previous involvement in the criminal justice system.

    Workforce development programs can help these workers overcome barriers to employment, helping them become a valuable resource to employers. Community-based organizations (CBOs) rooted in local communities and neighborhoods strive to engage employers and build trusting relationships with them to help workers get jobs and succeed at work while ensuring that employment programs meet employer needs.

    CBOs face challenges engaging with employers, but they can be overcome

    CBOs serving people with barriers to work face challenges in engaging employers. Employers are often wary of working with these groups or might perceive these organizations as working with less desirable employees. Persistent discrimination in hiring practices can...

    Employers need skilled workers to fill open jobs. Yet some workers face barriers to employment, even as the national unemployment rate dips to its lowest level in nearly two decades. These workers might face such challenges as a lack of skills, gaps in employment, or previous involvement in the criminal justice system.

    Workforce development programs can help these workers overcome barriers to employment, helping them become a valuable resource to employers. Community-based organizations (CBOs) rooted in local communities and neighborhoods strive to engage employers and build trusting relationships with them to help workers get jobs and succeed at work while ensuring that employment programs meet employer needs.

    CBOs face challenges engaging with employers, but they can be overcome

    CBOs serving people with barriers to work face challenges in engaging employers. Employers are often wary of working with these groups or might perceive these organizations as working with less desirable employees. Persistent discrimination in hiring practices can make it even more difficult to help participants with these characteristics or backgrounds secure employment.

    This report highlights promising approaches and strategies CBOs can use to engage with employers. The findings are based on the experiences of three grantees under JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills at Work initiative: Cara Chicago, Henry Street Settlement, and Community Learning Center Inc.

    Strategies CBOs use to engage with employers

    Several themes emerged from our conversations with program staff, partner organizations, and employers regarding their approaches to employer engagement:

    • Carefully select and target employer partners. An intentional approach to identifying and selecting partners is important for assisting participants with significant barriers to employment. When prospecting, CBOs can look for employers that meet certain criteria, such as being community minded and having the desire to invest in workers.
    • Ensure service delivery reflects a strong knowledge of employer and job seeker needs. The organizations we visited talked about the intensive work they do to understand employer and job seeker needs and then design services to meet those needs. Staff said aligning and customizing “concierge-level” services was key to effectively engaging employers.
    • Build trusting relationships with employers by providing high-quality service and making good matches. CBOs assisting people with barriers to employment must make the best match. CBOs must learn the needs of job seekers and employers, make good matches between the two, and provide support to ensure matches are successful. Building trust with an employer is about high-quality service over time.
    • Help employers get beyond stigma. One of the biggest barriers job seekers face is the stigma employers attach to particular groups or communities and the CBOs that serve them. To move beyond this stigma, CBOs can focus on the assets of job seekers, expose employers to job seekers in nonhiring settings, use transitional jobs to open up access, and advocate for specific participants.
    • Leverage partnerships and community knowledge as an employer engagement strategy. CBOs used their knowledge of community and business needs to develop and strengthen their strategies for engaging employers. They seemed to understand the needs of their communities and employer partners and how to leverage partnerships to meet those needs.

    This report adds to our knowledge base by identifying the employer engagement strategies and approaches used by community-based organizations assisting people with significant barriers to employment. The goal is to help CBOs identify and implement effective strategies and to inform public and private funders about such approaches. (Author abstract) 

     

  • Individual Author: Judkins, David; Fein, David; Buron, Larry
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation is a study of nine promising programs that use a “career pathways” framework for increasing education, employment, and self-sufficiency among low-income individuals and families. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, PACE will include three points of participant follow-up—at 18 months, three years, and six years after random assignment. The first round of reports, covering program implementation and impacts at 18 months after random assignment, were produced in 2017-2018, and published on the ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) website (www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/research/project/pathways-for-advancing-careers-and...).

    This Analysis Plan is for the second round of reports, covering three years after random assignment. This is the second supplement to the ...

    The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation is a study of nine promising programs that use a “career pathways” framework for increasing education, employment, and self-sufficiency among low-income individuals and families. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, PACE will include three points of participant follow-up—at 18 months, three years, and six years after random assignment. The first round of reports, covering program implementation and impacts at 18 months after random assignment, were produced in 2017-2018, and published on the ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) website (www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/research/project/pathways-for-advancing-careers-and...).

    This Analysis Plan is for the second round of reports, covering three years after random assignment. This is the second supplement to the Evaluation Design Report (Abt Associates 2014), which provided general plans for the PACE evaluation. The first supplement (Abt Associates 2015) was the Analysis Plan for the PACE Implementation and Early Impact Study, covering each program’s implementation and impacts in the first 18 months after random assignment. This Analysis Plan provides more details than the earlier documents for the third-year analyses, including detailed specification of the participant outcomes measured. 

    A long-term study and third round of reports, covering six years after random assignment, is underway. (Author overview)

     

  • Individual Author: Gardiner, Karen
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2017

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Study, which is supported by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The PACE evaluation examined nine different career pathway approaches that seek to increase job training, education, and labor attachment among low-income, low-skilled individuals. This presentation provides an overview of PACE, discusses the methodology, findings, and next steps.

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Study, which is supported by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The PACE evaluation examined nine different career pathway approaches that seek to increase job training, education, and labor attachment among low-income, low-skilled individuals. This presentation provides an overview of PACE, discusses the methodology, findings, and next steps.

  • Individual Author: Williams, Julie
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2017

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes the grant programs and evaluation overview, the programs evaluated, the key impact findings, and the conclusions from the Green Jobs and Health Care Impact Evaluation.

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes the grant programs and evaluation overview, the programs evaluated, the key impact findings, and the conclusions from the Green Jobs and Health Care Impact Evaluation.

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