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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: Martinson, Karin; Copson, Elizabeth; Gardiner, Karen; Kitrosser, Daniel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health) program, operated by Instituto del Progreso Latino, in Chicago, Illinois. The Carreras en Salud program is one promising effort aimed at helping low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. A distinctive feature of this program is its focus on training for low-income Latinos for employment in healthcare occupations, primarily Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It is among nine career pathways programs being evaluated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Carreras en Salud program consists of five elements: (1) a structured healthcare training pathway, starting at low skill levels; (2) contextualized and accelerated basic skills and ESL instruction; (3) academic advising and non-academic supports; (4) financial assistance; and (5) employment services. Using a rigorous...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health) program, operated by Instituto del Progreso Latino, in Chicago, Illinois. The Carreras en Salud program is one promising effort aimed at helping low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. A distinctive feature of this program is its focus on training for low-income Latinos for employment in healthcare occupations, primarily Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It is among nine career pathways programs being evaluated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Carreras en Salud program consists of five elements: (1) a structured healthcare training pathway, starting at low skill levels; (2) contextualized and accelerated basic skills and ESL instruction; (3) academic advising and non-academic supports; (4) financial assistance; and (5) employment services. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that the Carreras en Salud program increased hours of occupational training and basic skills instruction received and the attainment of education credentials within an 18-month follow-up period. The program also increased employment in the healthcare field and resulted in a reduction of participants reporting financial hardship. Future reports will examine whether these effects translate into gains in employment and earnings. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Miller, Cynthia ; Cummings, Danielle ; Millenky, Megan; Wiegand, Andrew ; Long, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Making the successful transition to adulthood has become increasingly difficult for many young people in the United States, particularly for those without a college education. Those without a high school degree face even tougher prospects, with especially high unemployment rates and falling wages. A typical worker without a high school diploma earns less today than the same worker did in the 1970s. YouthBuild is a program that attempts to improve prospects for less-educated young people, serving over 10,000 individuals each year at over 250 organizations nationwide. Each organization provides hands-on, construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, case management, counseling, service to the community, and leadership-development opportunities, to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school.

    YouthBuild was evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, in which eligible young people at participating programs were assigned to either a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or a control group, referred to other...

    Making the successful transition to adulthood has become increasingly difficult for many young people in the United States, particularly for those without a college education. Those without a high school degree face even tougher prospects, with especially high unemployment rates and falling wages. A typical worker without a high school diploma earns less today than the same worker did in the 1970s. YouthBuild is a program that attempts to improve prospects for less-educated young people, serving over 10,000 individuals each year at over 250 organizations nationwide. Each organization provides hands-on, construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, case management, counseling, service to the community, and leadership-development opportunities, to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school.

    YouthBuild was evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, in which eligible young people at participating programs were assigned to either a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or a control group, referred to other services in the community. The evaluation included 75 programs across the country and nearly 4,000 young people who enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2013. This report, the final in the evaluation, presents the program’s effects on young people after four years.

    Main Findings

    The effects observed through four years indicate that the program provides a starting point for redirecting otherwise disconnected young people, but one that could be improved upon.

    • YouthBuild increased the receipt of high school equivalency credentials.
    • YouthBuild increased enrollment in college, largely during the first two years. Very few young people had earned a degree after four years, and the program had a very small effect on degree receipt.
    • YouthBuild increased survey-reported employment rates, wages and earnings, but did not increase employment as measured with employer-provided administrative records, which might not include certain kinds of employment, such as jobs in the gig economy and other types of informal work.
    • YouthBuild increased civic engagement, largely via participation in YouthBuild services. It had no effects on other measures of positive youth development.
    • YouthBuild had few effects on involvement with the criminal justice system.

    As with many youth programs, YouthBuild’s benefits through four years do not outweigh its costs. But it is too early to draw firm conclusions about YouthBuild as an investment, since the benefits accrue over participants’ lifetimes. (Author abstract)

    YouthBuild has continued to evolve since it started in the 1970s and even since the study began. The findings from the evaluation can inform its future direction and help it have greater impact.

     

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Martinson, Karin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Bridge to Employment in the Healthcare Industry program, designed by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and operated by three community-based organizations in San Diego County, California. Bridge to Employment is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Bridge to Employment program consisted of five components: (1) Assessments to determine eligibility for training programs; (2) Navigation and case management services to help students choose their training and address barriers to participation; (3) Individual training account (ITA) vouchers to cover the cost of training; (4) Supportive services for transportation, child care, and other services; and (5) Employment services to help participants find employment...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Bridge to Employment in the Healthcare Industry program, designed by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and operated by three community-based organizations in San Diego County, California. Bridge to Employment is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Bridge to Employment program consisted of five components: (1) Assessments to determine eligibility for training programs; (2) Navigation and case management services to help students choose their training and address barriers to participation; (3) Individual training account (ITA) vouchers to cover the cost of training; (4) Supportive services for transportation, child care, and other services; and (5) Employment services to help participants find employment after training. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that Bridge to Employment increased the credentials its participants received and increased employment in a healthcare occupation within the 18-month follow-up period. Future reports will examine whether these effects translate into economic gains in the workplace in the longer term. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dastrup, Samuel; Burnett, Kimberly; Buron, Larry
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This document lays out a plan for the cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) that will be conducted for up to six of the nine Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) programs. The Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO) study is evaluating the intermediate impacts and outcomes of the PACE programs. The CBAs cover the three-year period after study enrollment.

    The CBAs planned in this document will accompany and extend the related “what works” impact analyses of the CPIO study. This document will guide the estimation of the costs of providing the PACE programs and our comparison of these costs with gains in employment and self-sufficiency measured in the impact analyses.

    Findings from the CBAs—how program costs compare with observed benefits—will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation or potentially expansion of each program’s approach as part of national policy. (Author abtract)

    This document lays out a plan for the cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) that will be conducted for up to six of the nine Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) programs. The Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO) study is evaluating the intermediate impacts and outcomes of the PACE programs. The CBAs cover the three-year period after study enrollment.

    The CBAs planned in this document will accompany and extend the related “what works” impact analyses of the CPIO study. This document will guide the estimation of the costs of providing the PACE programs and our comparison of these costs with gains in employment and self-sufficiency measured in the impact analyses.

    Findings from the CBAs—how program costs compare with observed benefits—will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation or potentially expansion of each program’s approach as part of national policy. (Author abtract)

  • Individual Author: Anderson, Theresa; Dodkowitz, Alan; Braga, Breno; Damron, Neil; Derrick-Mills, Teresa; Lipman, Micaela; Martin-Caughey, Ananda; Peters, H. Elizabeth; Pratt, Eleanor; Winkler, Mary K.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (Author abstract) 

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (Author abstract) 

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