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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: Fischer, David Jason
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2005

    In the 21st century, local economies won’t stand or fall on the presence of sports stadiums and office parks; they’ll be built on competitive workforce systems. But that work of construction is far more difficult than it sounds. To do it right, workforce systems must balance the oft-competing needs of workers and businesses; leverage millions in new dollars to pay for increased training programs; and link diverse players including nonprofits, colleges, and business associations through common goals and interests.

    This is the role of workforce intermediaries, quasi-governmental entities that are quickly becoming indispensable players in 21st century workforce systems. The consensus behind the intermediary approach solidified in early 2003, when the 102nd American Assembly issued a report entitled “Achieving Worker Success and Business Prosperity: The New Role for Workforce Intermediaries.” In this report, we assess lessons learned from three key intermediaries funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As regions across the U.S. work to develop their own intermediaries, the...

    In the 21st century, local economies won’t stand or fall on the presence of sports stadiums and office parks; they’ll be built on competitive workforce systems. But that work of construction is far more difficult than it sounds. To do it right, workforce systems must balance the oft-competing needs of workers and businesses; leverage millions in new dollars to pay for increased training programs; and link diverse players including nonprofits, colleges, and business associations through common goals and interests.

    This is the role of workforce intermediaries, quasi-governmental entities that are quickly becoming indispensable players in 21st century workforce systems. The consensus behind the intermediary approach solidified in early 2003, when the 102nd American Assembly issued a report entitled “Achieving Worker Success and Business Prosperity: The New Role for Workforce Intermediaries.” In this report, we assess lessons learned from three key intermediaries funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As regions across the U.S. work to develop their own intermediaries, the Casey experience offers helpful insights into the importance of intermediaries and what qualities to look for in organizations that can serve in this role...

    In this report, we look at three very distinct intermediary organizations —The Reinvestment Fund, a social-purpose lender and financier of community and economic revitalization in Philadelphia; Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, a labor/management partnership in Milwaukee; and the Seattle Jobs Initiative, an agency that began its operations within Seattle’s city government and later reconstituted itself as an independent nonprofit — that share both common organizational traits and operational goals. Despite the very significant differences among the three sites in regional economic and local political support, we found that the successful workforce intermediaries profiled here shared several organizational strengths they could bring to bear as problems arose: proven credibility, access to leaders and key stakeholders in government and business, and a willingness to embrace pragmatism over ideology and make changes to programs and approaches as events dictate. Strong leadership and an organizational willingness to take risks were also key elements in their successes. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Tao, Fumiyo; Alamprese, Judith A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    The Family Independence Initiative (FII) was developed by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) in 1997 to test the feasibility of implementing work-focused family literacy programs as an educational intervention to assist welfare recipients in meeting the requirements of welfare reform. The FII enhanced the services provided in NCFL’s comprehensive family literacy program, which consists of early childhood education, adult basic and literacy education, Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time, and Parent Time, by incorporating work-preparation and work-experience activities into the adult education component of family literacy. The assumption was that current or former welfare recipients could simultaneously develop their basic skills and learn strategies for obtaining and retaining employment as part of their family literacy experience.

    A key factor prompting the development of FII was the policy changes that were part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of...

    The Family Independence Initiative (FII) was developed by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) in 1997 to test the feasibility of implementing work-focused family literacy programs as an educational intervention to assist welfare recipients in meeting the requirements of welfare reform. The FII enhanced the services provided in NCFL’s comprehensive family literacy program, which consists of early childhood education, adult basic and literacy education, Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time, and Parent Time, by incorporating work-preparation and work-experience activities into the adult education component of family literacy. The assumption was that current or former welfare recipients could simultaneously develop their basic skills and learn strategies for obtaining and retaining employment as part of their family literacy experience.

    A key factor prompting the development of FII was the policy changes that were part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. This law shifted the focus of the nation’s welfare program from the provision of cash assistance to low-income parents to the promotion of work-preparation services and economic self-sufficiency. Two new mandates were instituted under TANF: a five-year, lifetime limit on adults’ eligibility to receive welfare cash assistance and a requirement that recipients participate in work-preparation services in order to receive the cash assistance. As social programs serving welfare recipients were preparing to address these policy changes, there were few models of service delivery available to help program participants obtain and retain employment, earn sufficient income, and support the economic needs of their families without government cash assistance. As a result, a number of state and local initiatives were developed to explore different welfare-to-work strategies to move welfare recipients into employment…

    The FII Follow-up Study had the following objectives:

    • To describe FII adult participants’ employment and educational outcomes, parenting practices, and social and community involvement one year after FII participation;
    • To describe the employment and educational experiences of participants during the two years after their participation in FII; and
    • To describe adult participants’ perceptions of what they learned from FII and its effects on their lives.

    (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Thomasa, Rebecca L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    Technology and Education for Career Heights (Project TECH) was designed to help Temporary Assistance to Needy Families participants enhance their literacy through distance learning as a means to promote job retention and career advancement. The evaluative research presented in this report was intended to gather information from the participants of Project TECH about their experience with distance learning training curriculum. The report describes Project TECH and what happens when participants who are low-income workers are given a computer, basic training software, Internet access, and training coupled with instruction from an instructor who met with them face to face weekly and provided daily online coaching and instruction. It highlights participants' experience with online instruction and the use of computers in their homes, and it concludes with lessons learned from the project. The information is useful for those wanting to design and develop a distance learning program to increase adult literacy for families that needs to comply with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families...

    Technology and Education for Career Heights (Project TECH) was designed to help Temporary Assistance to Needy Families participants enhance their literacy through distance learning as a means to promote job retention and career advancement. The evaluative research presented in this report was intended to gather information from the participants of Project TECH about their experience with distance learning training curriculum. The report describes Project TECH and what happens when participants who are low-income workers are given a computer, basic training software, Internet access, and training coupled with instruction from an instructor who met with them face to face weekly and provided daily online coaching and instruction. It highlights participants' experience with online instruction and the use of computers in their homes, and it concludes with lessons learned from the project. The information is useful for those wanting to design and develop a distance learning program to increase adult literacy for families that needs to comply with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families work requirements and other demands. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fraker, Thomas M.; Levy, Dan M.; Olsen, Robert B.; Stapulonis, Rita A.
    Year: 2004

    The $3 billion Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grants program established by Congress as part of the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 provided funds to over 700 state and local grantees. Congress appropriated funds for FY1998 and FY1999, and grantees were allowed five years to spend their funds.1 The intent of the grants program, administered at the national level by the U.S. Department of Labor, was to supplement the welfare reform funds included in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states, which were authorized under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).2 WtW funds were to support programs—especially those in high-poverty communities—to assist the least employable, most disadvantaged welfare recipients and noncustodial parents make the transition from welfare to work. (author abstract)

    The $3 billion Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grants program established by Congress as part of the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 provided funds to over 700 state and local grantees. Congress appropriated funds for FY1998 and FY1999, and grantees were allowed five years to spend their funds.1 The intent of the grants program, administered at the national level by the U.S. Department of Labor, was to supplement the welfare reform funds included in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states, which were authorized under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).2 WtW funds were to support programs—especially those in high-poverty communities—to assist the least employable, most disadvantaged welfare recipients and noncustodial parents make the transition from welfare to work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kemple, James J.; Rock, JoAnn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    Career Academies are one of several school-to-work approaches specifically authorized under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, a major milestone in the school-to-work movement. The Career Academies are “schools-within-schools” in which groups of students (usually 30 to 60 per grade in grades 9 through 12 or 10 through 12) take several classes together each year with the same group of teachers. The Academies focus on a career theme, such as health, business and finance, or electronics, which is usually determined by local employment opportunities and evidence of growing demand for such expertise in the marketplace. Career Academies’ curricula consist of traditional academic classes (such as math, English, science, and social studies) combined with occupation-related classes that focus on the career theme. Local employers from that field help plan and guide the program, and they serve as mentors and provide work experience for the students...

    This is the first report on the Career Academies Evaluation. It includes several preliminary findings that have important...

    Career Academies are one of several school-to-work approaches specifically authorized under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, a major milestone in the school-to-work movement. The Career Academies are “schools-within-schools” in which groups of students (usually 30 to 60 per grade in grades 9 through 12 or 10 through 12) take several classes together each year with the same group of teachers. The Academies focus on a career theme, such as health, business and finance, or electronics, which is usually determined by local employment opportunities and evidence of growing demand for such expertise in the marketplace. Career Academies’ curricula consist of traditional academic classes (such as math, English, science, and social studies) combined with occupation-related classes that focus on the career theme. Local employers from that field help plan and guide the program, and they serve as mentors and provide work experience for the students...

    This is the first report on the Career Academies Evaluation. It includes several preliminary findings that have important implications both for the evaluation and for policy and practice related to the Career Academies and other school-to-work approaches. Later reports will include additional analyses of how the Career Academies operate and will examine students’ and teachers’ experiences in the Academy and non-Academy high school environments. These reports will also include findings on the extent to which the Academies improve education and work-related outcomes for students. (author introduction)

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