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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: Lopez del Puerto, Carla; Crowson, Adrienne
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Training individuals who are at risk of unemployment/underemployment to increase their employability is a mission of many nonprofit agencies. These training programs, often supported by government funding, attempt to reduce these individuals’ reliance on government assistance. The purpose of this study is to obtain hard data and an in-depth understanding about the factors that contribute to the success of the Green Construction training program. The methodology used is a multimethod, multimeasure approach, which provides a reasonably robust triangulation of results. The findings indicate that the program is successful because it has good participant retention, knowledge gain, and placement rates. (author abstract)

    Training individuals who are at risk of unemployment/underemployment to increase their employability is a mission of many nonprofit agencies. These training programs, often supported by government funding, attempt to reduce these individuals’ reliance on government assistance. The purpose of this study is to obtain hard data and an in-depth understanding about the factors that contribute to the success of the Green Construction training program. The methodology used is a multimethod, multimeasure approach, which provides a reasonably robust triangulation of results. The findings indicate that the program is successful because it has good participant retention, knowledge gain, and placement rates. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Quint, Janet; Bos, Johannes; Polit, Denise
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across...

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across the country, sought to help the young mothers acquire educational and vocational credentials and skills so that they could secure jobs offering opportunities for advancement and could thereby reduce, and eventually eliminate, their use of welfare. It also sought to motivate and assist participants in postponing additional childbearing and to help them become better parents. Finally, New Chance was explicitly "two-generational" in its approach, seeking to enhance the cognitive abilities, health, and socioemotional well-being of enrollees' children. The program was, for the most part, voluntary; that is, young women were generally not required to attend in order to receive public assistance. Instead, most joined it because they wanted to earn their General Educational Development (GED, or high school equivalency) certificates and the program offered free child care to enable them to participate.

    To evaluate the program's effectiveness, young women who applied and were determined to be eligible for New Chance were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the experimental group, whose members could enroll in the program, or the control group, whose members could not join New Chance but could receive other services available in their communities. To ascertain both short- and longer-term program effects, comparable information was collected from each member of both groups through in-home survey interviews conducted approximately 1½ and 3½ years after the individual had been randomly assigned. The measured average differences between the two groups' outcomes over time (such as their differences in rates of GED attainment, employment, or subsequent childbearing) and between the outcomes for their children are the observed results (or impacts) of New Chance. This, the final report on the New Chance program and its impacts, examines the trajectories of 2,079 young mothers who responded to the 3½-year survey.  (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Bellotti, Jeanne; Derr, Michelle; Paxton, Nora
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    In July 2007, the Employment and Training Administration awarded grants to five organizations to assist ex-offenders transition back into their communities under the Beneficiary Choice Contracting Program. The demonstration is based on the core premise that helping formerly incarcerated individuals find and maintain stable and legal employment will reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The cornerstone of the beneficiary choice approach is the participant's choice of the service provider that best meets his/her needs. The demonstration includes the added element of performance-based contracting for those services.

    This report, Giving Ex-Offenders a Choice in Life: First Findings from the Beneficiary Choice Demonstration, was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Information included in the report was gathered during visits to each grantee community and after intense discussions at grantee conferences sponsored by the Department of Labor. The report includes a description of the grantees and the communities in which they operate; the grantees’...

    In July 2007, the Employment and Training Administration awarded grants to five organizations to assist ex-offenders transition back into their communities under the Beneficiary Choice Contracting Program. The demonstration is based on the core premise that helping formerly incarcerated individuals find and maintain stable and legal employment will reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The cornerstone of the beneficiary choice approach is the participant's choice of the service provider that best meets his/her needs. The demonstration includes the added element of performance-based contracting for those services.

    This report, Giving Ex-Offenders a Choice in Life: First Findings from the Beneficiary Choice Demonstration, was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Information included in the report was gathered during visits to each grantee community and after intense discussions at grantee conferences sponsored by the Department of Labor. The report includes a description of the grantees and the communities in which they operate; the grantees’ experiences in developing the programs; the characteristics of participants enrolled during the initial months of operation; and some of their early employment-related outcomes. Of particular interest, the report also includes a description of grantees’ initial efforts to ensure that participants have a truly independent choice of service providers. The early successes and ongoing challenges faced by the grantees when implementing the indirect funding approach through performance-based contracting are also identified in the report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Meléndez, Edwin; Falcón, Luis M.; de Montrichard, Alexandra
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Community colleges have become key institutions delivering employment training services to the population targeted by welfare-to-work grants (Carnavale and Desrochers, 1997; Meléndez and Suárez, 2001). Many community colleges have developed new programs and structures to meet a stringent set of program requirements and to provide support services for welfare recipients (Katsinas, Banachowski, Bliss, and Short, 1999). Most new programs specifically designed to serve welfare recipients have a significant component of continuing education or noncredit courses such as GED preparation and ESL to develop participants’ basic skills. These short-term vocational training programs create links between certificate and degree programs and act as mechanisms to close the gap between training and education (Bailey, 1998; Grubb, 1996). Providing the opportunity for academic and career advancement is perhaps the greatest theoretical advantage community colleges have over other employment training institutions, such as community-based job-training organizations and employer-based training.

    ...

    Community colleges have become key institutions delivering employment training services to the population targeted by welfare-to-work grants (Carnavale and Desrochers, 1997; Meléndez and Suárez, 2001). Many community colleges have developed new programs and structures to meet a stringent set of program requirements and to provide support services for welfare recipients (Katsinas, Banachowski, Bliss, and Short, 1999). Most new programs specifically designed to serve welfare recipients have a significant component of continuing education or noncredit courses such as GED preparation and ESL to develop participants’ basic skills. These short-term vocational training programs create links between certificate and degree programs and act as mechanisms to close the gap between training and education (Bailey, 1998; Grubb, 1996). Providing the opportunity for academic and career advancement is perhaps the greatest theoretical advantage community colleges have over other employment training institutions, such as community-based job-training organizations and employer-based training.

    Community college success in serving low-income and disadvantaged populations has led to proposals that two-year institutions assume a more central role in regional workforce development systems (Carnavale and Desrocher, 1997; Jenkins and Fitzgerald, 1998). In this study, we examine the ways community colleges have transformed their operations in response to the challenges inherent in educating a disadvantaged welfare recipient population with multiple academic and social needs. This chapter examines the following questions: To what extent have community colleges adapted for the welfare recipients entering their institutions? Have the changes in policy induced different responses among mainstream versus predominantly minority-serving colleges? How are curriculum, instruction, student services, and educational programs changing to meet the needs of welfare recipients and other disadvantaged students? What are the institutional factors affecting colleges’ participation in workforce development programs? Lessons from case studies and best practices in programs targeting welfare recipients presented in this chapter are particularly relevant to mainstream community colleges targeting nontraditional and minority students. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fitzgerald, Joan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This paper addresses the role community colleges can play in moving the working poor toward economic independence. Since Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) was enacted in 1996, there have been many new job openings in the country. But, employment and earnings prospects for job seekers leaving the welfare system are dismal. TANF clients are filling jobs in the service sector that pay near-minimum wage. In 1963, 35% of the labor force worked in low-paying jobs, but by 1998 that figure had risen to 63%. Community college vocational programs are uniquely poised to provide the training needed for low-wage workers to advance into better-paying jobs. The author examines the programs offered at three community colleges, each of which illustrates innovation in focusing on career ladders or wage progression. The schools are Shoreline Community College, Washington; South Seattle Community College, Washington; and Community College of Denver, Colorado. Three programs were established at Shoreline using funds from the Department of Social and Health Services. South Seattle uses...

    This paper addresses the role community colleges can play in moving the working poor toward economic independence. Since Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) was enacted in 1996, there have been many new job openings in the country. But, employment and earnings prospects for job seekers leaving the welfare system are dismal. TANF clients are filling jobs in the service sector that pay near-minimum wage. In 1963, 35% of the labor force worked in low-paying jobs, but by 1998 that figure had risen to 63%. Community college vocational programs are uniquely poised to provide the training needed for low-wage workers to advance into better-paying jobs. The author examines the programs offered at three community colleges, each of which illustrates innovation in focusing on career ladders or wage progression. The schools are Shoreline Community College, Washington; South Seattle Community College, Washington; and Community College of Denver, Colorado. Three programs were established at Shoreline using funds from the Department of Social and Health Services. South Seattle uses modules as a way to divide a longer course or program into manageable segments with job advancement connected to each of them. And Denver's Essential Skills program accents the importance of relationships in the process of learning. (Contains 32 references.) (Eric.gov-NB)

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