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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: 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)

  • 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: Cummings, Danielle; Farrell, Mary; Skemer, Melanie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report presents 30-month impact results from a random assignment evaluation of the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), a subsidized employment program for young people in New York City who have become disconnected from school and work. Operated by various provider agencies, YAIP offers disconnected young people between the ages of 16 and 24 a temporary paid internship, as well as various support services.

    The YAIP evaluation was part of the larger Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From July 2013 to March 2014, program staff assigned nearly 2,700 young people at random to either a program group, which was offered YAIP services, or to a control group, which was not offered those services. The YAIP evaluation measured outcomes for both groups over time to assess whether YAIP services led to better outcomes for the program group compared with those of the control group.

    This report, the second of two from the YAIP evaluation,...

    This report presents 30-month impact results from a random assignment evaluation of the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), a subsidized employment program for young people in New York City who have become disconnected from school and work. Operated by various provider agencies, YAIP offers disconnected young people between the ages of 16 and 24 a temporary paid internship, as well as various support services.

    The YAIP evaluation was part of the larger Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From July 2013 to March 2014, program staff assigned nearly 2,700 young people at random to either a program group, which was offered YAIP services, or to a control group, which was not offered those services. The YAIP evaluation measured outcomes for both groups over time to assess whether YAIP services led to better outcomes for the program group compared with those of the control group.

    This report, the second of two from the YAIP evaluation, examines whether the program improved young people’s outcomes 30 months after study enrollment. An analysis of youth outcomes indicates that young people in the program and control groups were faring similarly after 30 months, with program group members slightly more likely to report employment on a survey administered roughly 30 months after random assignment. However, administrative data did not show employment effects, suggesting that the program may have increased informal or independent employment. A cost analysis found that the program cost $5,431 per participant, which is at the lower end of the spectrum of costs of similar programs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Johnson, Melissa ; Spiker, Katie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Apprenticeship and other forms of work-based learning are important tools for helping workers acquire skills employers need. To reach the most workers and businesses, more work needs to be done to diversify the apprenticeship pipeline to include more women, low-wage workers, and parents of young children.

    Underrepresented workers without adequate industry experience often need pre-employment or pre-apprenticeship training before they reach the skill level necessary to enter work-based learning programs. But, training alone may not be sufficient to ensure success. Pre-apprenticeship programs that provide both training and access to child care can offer an important on-ramp to an apprenticeship pathway for a broad range of workers. Once in an apprenticeship, child care continues to be an important support for ensuring participant success since starting wages are lower than those apprentices can expect to make once they’ve completed their program.

    This brief discusses the significant roles affordable child care and pre-work-based learning training like pre-...

    Apprenticeship and other forms of work-based learning are important tools for helping workers acquire skills employers need. To reach the most workers and businesses, more work needs to be done to diversify the apprenticeship pipeline to include more women, low-wage workers, and parents of young children.

    Underrepresented workers without adequate industry experience often need pre-employment or pre-apprenticeship training before they reach the skill level necessary to enter work-based learning programs. But, training alone may not be sufficient to ensure success. Pre-apprenticeship programs that provide both training and access to child care can offer an important on-ramp to an apprenticeship pathway for a broad range of workers. Once in an apprenticeship, child care continues to be an important support for ensuring participant success since starting wages are lower than those apprentices can expect to make once they’ve completed their program.

    This brief discusses the significant roles affordable child care and pre-work-based learning training like pre-apprenticeship have in expanding access to and success in work-based learning programs. The report highlights the best practices for offering child care during and after pre-apprenticeship programs from Moore Community House’s Mississippi Women in Construction program and offers federal and state policy recommendations to make these supports available to more workers across the country. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Hanks, Angela; McGrew, Annie; Zessoules, Daniella
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The analysis in this issue brief examines apprenticeship programs over the past decade—from fiscal year 2008 through 2017—to observe gaps in participation and wages among women and people of color. In general, it finds that women remain deeply underrepresented in apprenticeship programs and that wages among women and black or African American apprentices are much lower than those of other apprentices. Even though these programs are intended and have the potential to develop the U.S. workforce, increase earnings, and prepare workers for the jobs of the future, their current gender and racial compositions tell a different story more work must be done to make it a reality. (Author introduction)

    The analysis in this issue brief examines apprenticeship programs over the past decade—from fiscal year 2008 through 2017—to observe gaps in participation and wages among women and people of color. In general, it finds that women remain deeply underrepresented in apprenticeship programs and that wages among women and black or African American apprentices are much lower than those of other apprentices. Even though these programs are intended and have the potential to develop the U.S. workforce, increase earnings, and prepare workers for the jobs of the future, their current gender and racial compositions tell a different story more work must be done to make it a reality. (Author introduction)

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