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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: Perez-Johnson, Irma; Moore, Quinn; Santillano, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and...

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) at the U.S. Department of Labor designed the ITA experiment to provide federal, state, and local policymakers, administrators, and program managers with information on the tradeoffs inherent in different ITA service delivery models.

    As a part of the experiment, nearly 8,000 customers of One-Stop Centers in eight different sites were randomly assigned to one of the three ITA service delivery models tested in the ITA Experiment. These models varied along three policy-relevant dimensions (Table ES.1): (1) the ITA award structure (that is, whether the award amount was fixed for all customers or tailored to the customer’s needs); (2) required counseling (that is, whether ITA counseling was mandatory or optional, and its intensity); and (3) program approval (that is, whether counselors could reject customers’ training choices and deny an ITA, or had to approve them if the customer had completed his or her ITA requirements). (author abstract)

  • 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: Hahn, Andrew B.; Curnan, Susan P.; Bailis, Lawrence N.; Frees, Joseph; Kingsley, Christopher; LaCava, Lisa A.; Lanspery, Susan; Melchior, Alan L.; Moldow, Erika L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, providing $1.2 billion in targeted funding for the workforce investment system to generate employment and training opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth nationwide. Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor encouraged states and local workforce investment boards to use the funds to create meaningful work experiences for these young people in summer 2009.

    This report was prepared by the Center for Youth and Communities of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University with a grant awarded by the Employment and Training Administration. The report documents the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act summer youth employment initiative in four featured communities: Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana; Phoenix and Maricopa County, Arizona. The researchers conducted interviews and in-depth site visits over a two-week period in each community and developed individual case...

    On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, providing $1.2 billion in targeted funding for the workforce investment system to generate employment and training opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth nationwide. Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor encouraged states and local workforce investment boards to use the funds to create meaningful work experiences for these young people in summer 2009.

    This report was prepared by the Center for Youth and Communities of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University with a grant awarded by the Employment and Training Administration. The report documents the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act summer youth employment initiative in four featured communities: Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana; Phoenix and Maricopa County, Arizona. The researchers conducted interviews and in-depth site visits over a two-week period in each community and developed individual case studies describing the recessionary challenges and strategies in the four communities during summer 2009. These four communities collectively received an infusion of more than $37 million and provided an estimated 16,650 summer jobs for low-income and disadvantaged youth. The report describes the local context for implementation, provides insight into specific assets and innovations that were used to achieve the community goals, and identifies elements of best practices and lessons that may inform future summer youth employment initiatives. (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: Pavetti, LaDonna; Derr, Michelle; Anderson, Jacquelyn; Trippe, Carole; Paschal, Sidnee
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Although it is perceived that many welfare offices are using intermediaries to link welfare recipients with jobs, very little is known about how widely they are used, who these intermediaries are, how they operate or the issues they face in linking welfare recipients with jobs.  To better understand the characteristics of intermediary organizations and their role in current welfare reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) to conduct the exploratory research documented in this report.  This research has four purposes:

    1. To describe the characteristics of intermediaries
    2. To describe the key decisions local welfare offices have made regarding the use of intermediaries
    3. To provide in-depth information on the types of services intermediaries provide, the process they use to link welfare recipients with employers and the challenges they face
    4. To identify lessons that can benefit policymakers and other or...

    Although it is perceived that many welfare offices are using intermediaries to link welfare recipients with jobs, very little is known about how widely they are used, who these intermediaries are, how they operate or the issues they face in linking welfare recipients with jobs.  To better understand the characteristics of intermediary organizations and their role in current welfare reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) to conduct the exploratory research documented in this report.  This research has four purposes:

    1. To describe the characteristics of intermediaries
    2. To describe the key decisions local welfare offices have made regarding the use of intermediaries
    3. To provide in-depth information on the types of services intermediaries provide, the process they use to link welfare recipients with employers and the challenges they face
    4. To identify lessons that can benefit policymakers and other or newly emerging intermediaries and assess the implications of the findings for future research on welfare employment efforts

    The devolution of responsibility from the federal government to the states for developing and implementing assistance policies for needy families has spawned a broad range of approaches to transforming the welfare system into a work-based assistance system.  To capture the way intermediaries function in these diverse policy environments, information for this study was gathered through site visits to 20 sites, one urban and one rural in each of ten states.  Sites were selected to provide broad regional representation; a mix of large, medium, and small TANF caseloads; different approaches to moving welfare recipients into employment; and a diversity of administrative and service delivery structures.  Site visits were conducted between April and August 1999 by researchers from MPR and our subcontractor, the National Alliance of Businesses (NAB). (author abstract)

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