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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: 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: Wright, Girley; Cummings, Danielle; Millenky, Megan; Valentine, Erin
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Employment rates for disadvantaged youth and young adults were falling even before the Great Recession, but this group was particularly hard-hit by the downturn, and their rates of joblessness remain stubbornly high. This session presented results from three rigorous evaluations of large-scale programs designed to improve employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth. Girley Wright (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the session. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

    Employment rates for disadvantaged youth and young adults were falling even before the Great Recession, but this group was particularly hard-hit by the downturn, and their rates of joblessness remain stubbornly high. This session presented results from three rigorous evaluations of large-scale programs designed to improve employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth. Girley Wright (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the session. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (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: Bird, Kisha; Okoh, Clarence
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Employment is an important part of youth development and the successful progression into young adulthood. Young people learn important communication and social skills, and are also exposed to careers, workplace culture, and opportunities to hone problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Research reinforces the importance of early work experience, especially for poor and low-income youth. Youth employment strategies, including summer jobs, paid internships, and year-round subsidized work experiences, can be linked to a broader approach to address poverty. Children who are born poor—and are persistently poor—are significantly more likely than those not poor at birth to experience poverty in adulthood, unemployment, and underemployment. Persistent childhood poverty (living below the federal poverty level for at least half of one’s childhood) is prevalent among Black children. To lift children—particularly children and youth of color—out of poverty, they must have access to work and a career path leading into adulthood. Beyond eventual economic security and social mobility, there are...

    Employment is an important part of youth development and the successful progression into young adulthood. Young people learn important communication and social skills, and are also exposed to careers, workplace culture, and opportunities to hone problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Research reinforces the importance of early work experience, especially for poor and low-income youth. Youth employment strategies, including summer jobs, paid internships, and year-round subsidized work experiences, can be linked to a broader approach to address poverty. Children who are born poor—and are persistently poor—are significantly more likely than those not poor at birth to experience poverty in adulthood, unemployment, and underemployment. Persistent childhood poverty (living below the federal poverty level for at least half of one’s childhood) is prevalent among Black children. To lift children—particularly children and youth of color—out of poverty, they must have access to work and a career path leading into adulthood. Beyond eventual economic security and social mobility, there are many short and long-term benefits to youth employment. Employed teens are more likely to graduate high school, and recent research studies suggest that employment during the summer months can prevent involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Moreover, employment in the teen years is a significant predictor of successful attachment to the labor market into adulthood. It is also linked to increased earnings in the short-term and later in life. In fact, older youth have almost a 100% chance of being employed in a given year if they have worked more than 40 weeks in the previous year. (Author introduction)

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