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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: Hendra, Rick
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2015

    This powerpoint presentation from the 2015 NAWRS conference describes an implementation study of an employment retention and advancement program based in three cities.

    This powerpoint presentation from the 2015 NAWRS conference describes an implementation study of an employment retention and advancement program based in three cities.

  • Individual Author: Tessler, Betsy L.; Bangser, Michael; Pennington, Alexandra; Schaberg, Kelsey; Dalporto, Hannah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    The WorkAdvance program model integrates the most promising features of two especially important areas of workforce policy: “sectoral” strategies, which seek to meet the needs of both workers and employers by preparing individuals for quality jobs in specific high-demand industries or occupational clusters, and job retention and career advancement strategies, which seek to improve workers’ prospects for sustained employment and upward mobility. Specifically, the WorkAdvance model offers the following sequence of sector-focused program components to participants for up to two years after enrollment: preemployment and career readiness services, occupational skills training, job development and placement, and postemployment retention and advancement services. WorkAdvance programs are currently operated by four organizations (two in New York City, one in Tulsa, and one in Greater Cleveland) that focus on a variety of sectors and bring different types of experience and approaches to the implementation of WorkAdvance.

    This first report presents early findings on how the four...

    The WorkAdvance program model integrates the most promising features of two especially important areas of workforce policy: “sectoral” strategies, which seek to meet the needs of both workers and employers by preparing individuals for quality jobs in specific high-demand industries or occupational clusters, and job retention and career advancement strategies, which seek to improve workers’ prospects for sustained employment and upward mobility. Specifically, the WorkAdvance model offers the following sequence of sector-focused program components to participants for up to two years after enrollment: preemployment and career readiness services, occupational skills training, job development and placement, and postemployment retention and advancement services. WorkAdvance programs are currently operated by four organizations (two in New York City, one in Tulsa, and one in Greater Cleveland) that focus on a variety of sectors and bring different types of experience and approaches to the implementation of WorkAdvance.

    This first report presents early findings on how the four local program providers translated the WorkAdvance model into a workable program. It offers lessons that may be helpful to organizations seeking to implement a sector-focused career advancement program like WorkAdvance. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Jastrzab, JoAnn; Rappaport, Catherine Dun
    Reference Type:
    Year: 2003

    NASCC is conducting this study to learn how best to develop and implement community service programs that facilitate the employment and post-placement support of TANF-eligible and other low-income young adults. This study is not a traditional evaluation in that it is more concerned with identifying promising practices than with assessing the performance of specific welfare-to-work programs. By identifying promising practices and sharing them with corps across the country, NASCC will be able more effectively to support corps staff as they develop programs for low-income youth and will make an important contribution to the youth employment and development field.

    In November 2002, NASCC contracted with Abt Associates, a nationally recognized public policy research firm, to conduct this “promising practices assessment.” This study addresses these three research questions: 1. How was the WtW Project implemented? 2. What were key WtW Project outcomes? 3. What are promising practices in helping economically disadvantaged youth to obtain academic, life, and job skills and to...

    NASCC is conducting this study to learn how best to develop and implement community service programs that facilitate the employment and post-placement support of TANF-eligible and other low-income young adults. This study is not a traditional evaluation in that it is more concerned with identifying promising practices than with assessing the performance of specific welfare-to-work programs. By identifying promising practices and sharing them with corps across the country, NASCC will be able more effectively to support corps staff as they develop programs for low-income youth and will make an important contribution to the youth employment and development field.

    In November 2002, NASCC contracted with Abt Associates, a nationally recognized public policy research firm, to conduct this “promising practices assessment.” This study addresses these three research questions: 1. How was the WtW Project implemented? 2. What were key WtW Project outcomes? 3. What are promising practices in helping economically disadvantaged youth to obtain academic, life, and job skills and to transition into employment?

    To address these research questions, Abt Associates engaged in several tasks. First, we conducted in-depth case studies of all seven corps that both completed the WtW Project and remained in operation through January 2003. Conducting these case studies entailed interviewing program staff and program participants, touring project sites, and reviewing key project documents. Abt Associates also interviewed NASCC’s President and Director of the Welfare to Work Project and conducted a focus group with Corps Program Directors at the NASCC Annual Meeting in February 2003. In addition, we reviewed data that NASCC and DOL collected regarding individual corps’ performance in the Project. (Specifically, we assessed outcome data that illustrated corps’ success in enrolling and placing WtW corps members and in helping them to remain employed for at least six months.) Finally, we conducted a literature review regarding effective strategies for helping TANF-eligible youth advance their education and transition out of poverty and into employment. (author summary)

  • Individual Author: Hendra, Richard ; Greenberg, David H.; Hamilton, Gayle; Oppenheim, Ari; Pennington, Alexandra; Schaberg, Kelsey; Tessler, Betsy L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report summarizes the two-year findings of a rigorous random assignment evaluation of the WorkAdvance model, a sectoral training and advancement initiative. Launched in 2011, WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs by introducing demand-driven skills training and a focus on jobs that have career pathways. The model is heavily influenced by the positive findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study (SEIS) completed in 2010. A major component of the WorkAdvance model, in common with the programs studied in the SEIS, is formal training offering industry-recognized certifications, reflecting the hypothesis that skills acquisition is necessary for advancement. The model also requires providers to be far more employer-facing than traditional training programs, taking into account multiple employers’ changing skill requirements, employee assessment practices, and personnel needs. This report presents the implementation, cost, participation, and two-year economic impacts of WorkAdvance. The economic results are based on unemployment insurance...

    This report summarizes the two-year findings of a rigorous random assignment evaluation of the WorkAdvance model, a sectoral training and advancement initiative. Launched in 2011, WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs by introducing demand-driven skills training and a focus on jobs that have career pathways. The model is heavily influenced by the positive findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study (SEIS) completed in 2010. A major component of the WorkAdvance model, in common with the programs studied in the SEIS, is formal training offering industry-recognized certifications, reflecting the hypothesis that skills acquisition is necessary for advancement. The model also requires providers to be far more employer-facing than traditional training programs, taking into account multiple employers’ changing skill requirements, employee assessment practices, and personnel needs. This report presents the implementation, cost, participation, and two-year economic impacts of WorkAdvance. The economic results are based on unemployment insurance earnings records and a second-year follow-up survey.

    The WorkAdvance program operations and evaluation are funded through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a public-private partnership administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This SIF project is led by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity in collaboration with MDRC.

    Key Findings

    • All providers translated the WorkAdvance model into a set of concrete services, but it took time — more than a year for some components and providers — and a substantial amount of technical assistance and support. As a result, at some sites, later study enrollees were more likely than earlier ones to experience a fully implemented and “mature” WorkAdvance program.
    • Overall, WorkAdvance resulted in very large increases in participation in every category of services, as well as in training completion and credential acquisition, compared with what would have happened in the absence of the program. Expenditures for the operation of WorkAdvance fell between $5,200 and $6,700 per participant at the four providers delivering the program.
    • WorkAdvance providers increased earnings, with variation in results that closely matched the providers’ experience in running sector-based programs and the extent to which the services they offered were demand driven. The most experienced sectoral provider, Per Scholas, had large and consistent impacts on both primary and secondary outcomes. Madison Strategies Group and Towards Employment, providers new to sectoral training, had promising but less consistent results that grew stronger for later enrollees. One provider, St. Nicks Alliance, did not produce positive impacts. The results did not differ dramatically across subgroups, though encouragingly, WorkAdvance was able to increase earnings among the long-term unemployed.

    The evaluation as a whole provides important information for workforce development providers interested in pursuing a sector strategy. The analysis considers the role played by providers’ sector-specific training and preparation and the role played by the nature of the sectors themselves. Future priorities that emerge from the results are (1) understanding how to help the more disadvantaged access the programs and (2) learning how to build service capacity, given how complex the model is to run. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Beimers, David; Fischer, Robert L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 by the U.S. Congress required welfare recipients to quickly move into the workforce. Employment services agencies perform a key role in this process by providing welfare recipients with work readiness and job search skills. This article reviews the findings of an empirical study of the experiences and employment outcomes of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients referred to contracted employment services agencies. The study involves a random-sample survey of 151 TANF recipients in a large, urban, north-central county. The findings suggest that generic work readiness activities may be of limited utility unless they include job leads to actual employment opportunities. The article concludes with a discussion of critical issues for practitioners. (author abstract)

    The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 by the U.S. Congress required welfare recipients to quickly move into the workforce. Employment services agencies perform a key role in this process by providing welfare recipients with work readiness and job search skills. This article reviews the findings of an empirical study of the experiences and employment outcomes of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients referred to contracted employment services agencies. The study involves a random-sample survey of 151 TANF recipients in a large, urban, north-central county. The findings suggest that generic work readiness activities may be of limited utility unless they include job leads to actual employment opportunities. The article concludes with a discussion of critical issues for practitioners. (author abstract)

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