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  • Individual Author: Livermore, Gina; Hoffman, Denise; Bardos, Maura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In July 2008, we implemented regulation changes to the Ticket to Work (TTW) program to increase the financial incentives for service providers to participate in the program. This report compares the characteristics and outcomes of two groups of TTW participants – those who assigned their Tickets before we implemented the revised regulations, and those who assigned their Tickets after. In this report, we assess whether the group that assigned their Tickets before the regulation changes is the same or different from the group that assigned their Tickets after in terms of the characteristics of beneficiaries, the types and intensity of services received, the employment expectations and outcomes of TTW participants, and participant satisfaction with TTW. We also provide updated information about the characteristics and employment-related outcomes of TTW participants based on data in the 2010 National Beneficiary Survey (NBS), analogous to the detailed statistics on TTW participants based on earlier rounds of the NBS and presented in previous TTW evaluation reports.

    This is the...

    In July 2008, we implemented regulation changes to the Ticket to Work (TTW) program to increase the financial incentives for service providers to participate in the program. This report compares the characteristics and outcomes of two groups of TTW participants – those who assigned their Tickets before we implemented the revised regulations, and those who assigned their Tickets after. In this report, we assess whether the group that assigned their Tickets before the regulation changes is the same or different from the group that assigned their Tickets after in terms of the characteristics of beneficiaries, the types and intensity of services received, the employment expectations and outcomes of TTW participants, and participant satisfaction with TTW. We also provide updated information about the characteristics and employment-related outcomes of TTW participants based on data in the 2010 National Beneficiary Survey (NBS), analogous to the detailed statistics on TTW participants based on earlier rounds of the NBS and presented in previous TTW evaluation reports.

    This is the fifth in a series of reports that make up the seventh Ticket to Work evaluation report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2011

    How well do our education policies prepare America’s youth for the labor market? What challenges limit our success, and what opportunities do we have for improvements? Can public policy play a greater role in encouraging more success? I consider these questions as they apply to the unique characteristics of metropolitan areas in the U.S. Most labor markets are metropolitan in nature, with workers commuting across central-city and suburban municipalities to jobs wherever they are located. In most metro areas, jobs (especially those paying higher wages) and different groups of residents are distributed unevenly; white and minority residents and those with higher and lower incomes are often quite highly segregated from each other residentially. These characteristics of metro areas should be taken into account as we consider what kinds of education and workforce policies and reforms to implement.

    This paper begins with a brief overview of the future U.S. labor market, including a review of trends in the demand for labor. In particular, I consider demand for both middle- and...

    How well do our education policies prepare America’s youth for the labor market? What challenges limit our success, and what opportunities do we have for improvements? Can public policy play a greater role in encouraging more success? I consider these questions as they apply to the unique characteristics of metropolitan areas in the U.S. Most labor markets are metropolitan in nature, with workers commuting across central-city and suburban municipalities to jobs wherever they are located. In most metro areas, jobs (especially those paying higher wages) and different groups of residents are distributed unevenly; white and minority residents and those with higher and lower incomes are often quite highly segregated from each other residentially. These characteristics of metro areas should be taken into account as we consider what kinds of education and workforce policies and reforms to implement.

    This paper begins with a brief overview of the future U.S. labor market, including a review of trends in the demand for labor. In particular, I consider demand for both middle- and high-skill jobs, where the former are defined as those requiring some postsecondary education or training (broadly defined) beyond a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree, and the latter are defined as those requiring a bachelor’s or higher. I then review the challenges limiting so many young Americans as they prepare for the labor market, as well as what we know about programs and policies that might improve observed outcomes.(author abstract)

    This chapter is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan and a discussion paper published by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Individual Author: Zaslow, Martha J. ; McGroder, Sharon M. ; Moore, Kristin A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    As we seek to understand the effects on families of the 1996 welfare reform law, we can build on the foundation of a rigorous evaluation study focusing on the effects on families of welfare-to-work programs implemented under the previous welfare law, the Family Support Act of 1988. The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (the NEWWS, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education) is evaluating the impact of a set of welfare-to-work programs operated under "JOBS" (the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program). A pioneering feature of this national evaluation is that it simultaneously considers program impacts on adult economic outcomes and on the development and well-being of the children in the families.

    This summary report presents a summary of findings from one of a set of three complementary reports from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies' two-year follow-up (with results from a further follow-up, completed five...

    As we seek to understand the effects on families of the 1996 welfare reform law, we can build on the foundation of a rigorous evaluation study focusing on the effects on families of welfare-to-work programs implemented under the previous welfare law, the Family Support Act of 1988. The National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (the NEWWS, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education) is evaluating the impact of a set of welfare-to-work programs operated under "JOBS" (the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program). A pioneering feature of this national evaluation is that it simultaneously considers program impacts on adult economic outcomes and on the development and well-being of the children in the families.

    This summary report presents a summary of findings from one of a set of three complementary reports from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies' two-year follow-up (with results from a further follow-up, completed five years after families enrolled, to be presented in the future). We focus in the present summary report on the findings related to impacts on children, reporting results from a special component of the evaluation, the Child Outcomes Study (see McGroder, Zaslow, Moore and LeMenestrel, 2000, for a detailed presentation of findings). This component of the evaluation focuses in depth on children's development and well-being for a sample of families with young (preschool-age) children at the start of the evaluation, drawn from three of the evaluation's seven research sites. A second report in this series focuses primarily on economic impacts in all seven of the evaluation's research sites, with a more limited examination of impacts on children of all ages (Freedman, Friedlander, Hamilton, Rock, Mitchell, Nudelman, Schweder, and Storto, 2000). A third report draws together findings on children from the in-depth look at young children in the Child Outcomes Study, and brief markers of well-being collected regarding children of all ages in families in the full evaluation sample (Hamilton, with Freedman and McGroder, 2000).

    The Child Outcomes Study of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies examines the impacts on both the parental and child generations of two distinct approaches to welfare reform implemented as part of the federal JOBS Program: a labor force attachment approach (emphasizing a rapid transition to employment), and a human capital development approach (emphasizing a longer-term strategy of education and training in order to obtain a better job). These strategies are precursors of the welfare reform programs now being implemented under the 1996 welfare law, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). The labor force attachment approach under JOBS is especially germane because of its emphasis on moving clients quickly into employment, the clear priority of new policies. However, the human capital development approach may provide an informative model for states as caseloads drop, and those families remaining on welfare face more barriers to employment (such as low literacy or limited education).

    Although welfare policies were initiated many years ago with the aim of protecting children in poor families, most of the evaluation research concerning these policies has focused on adult economic outcomes. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the most clearly targeted outcomes of these programs have been economic. The Family Support Act explicitly stated as its goal the reduction of long-term welfare dependency. Further, this law did not call for services aimed directly at enhancing the development of children (such as early childhood educational intervention, or developmental screening); rather authorized services focused on increasing adult employment.

    Nevertheless, a mother's assignment to a welfare-to-work program has the potential to affect the development of children, for example, by affecting the material resources available within the family, and by affecting children's experiences of care both within and outside of the home. The Child Outcomes Study of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies examines whether children can be affected by their mothers' assignment to a welfare-to-work program, how their development and well-being are affected (favorably or unfavorably), if at all, and in what ways any impacts on children come about.

    The Child Outcomes Study uses a rigorous experimental design. Two years after mothers were randomly assigned to one of the two JOBS welfare-to-work strategies or to a control group, outcomes for children (at that point between about 5 and 7 years of age) were examined. The children's cognitive development and academic achievement were measured through a combination of direct assessment (an assessment of the children's cognitive school readiness) and maternal report (for example, mothers' reports of academic problems). The children's behavioral and emotional adjustment were measured through maternal report (for example, using measures of the child's behavior problems and positive social behaviors). The children's health and safety were also measured through maternal report (for example, using an interview measure indicating whether the child has had an accident, injury or poisoning requiring emergency medical attention; an interview measure widely used in national surveys in which the mother indicates whether she sees the child's overall health as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor). Validation work indicates that the global health rating reflects primarily physical health problems (Krause and Jay, 1994).In general, all measures selected for use in the Child Outcomes Study have demonstrated sufficient validity and reliability (Bracken, 1984; Polit, 1996; Zill, 1985; Peterson and ZILL, 1986)

    In addition to examining mean scores on measures of cognitive school readiness, problem and positive behavior, and overall health, we also examined program impacts on the proportion of children with extreme scores on these measures in the interest of ascertaining whether JOBS welfare-to-work programs changed the distribution of children's outcomes — for example, reducing the proportion at the "unfavorable" end and/or increasing the proportion at the "favorable" end — which is possible even if the programs had no impacts on mean scores. Thus, in some cases a single response to a survey question can give rise to two or more impacts (e.g., one relating to the mean and one relating to the distribution).

    The Child Outcomes Study was conducted in three sites: Atlanta, Georgia; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Riverside, California. Families enrolled in the evaluation between September 1991 and January 1994. Data collection for the two-year follow-up was completed in January 1996, prior to the implementation of the new welfare law. Findings from this study must be seen in light of the fact that mothers were exempt from participation in JOBS welfare-to-work activities if they were needed at home to care for an ill or incapacitated family member, including a child. As a result, children with a health condition requiring such care were not included in the evaluation. The 1996 welfare law no longer provides an explicit exemption for a mother with an ill or incapacitated child.

    In this experimental evaluation, mothers randomly assigned to a control group in each of the study sites were eligible for all welfare benefits. However, they did not receive the special messages and case management of a JOBS program, they were not mandated to participate in JOBS program activities, and they did not have access to the particular work preparation activities through JOBS. Control group members were eligible for child care assistance, similar to that offered to program group members, if they were participating in work preparation activities in which they had enrolled on their own. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary ; Hamilton, Gayle ; Schwartz, Christine ; Storto, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Michigan’s current welfare-to-work program evolved over the past decade from one that emphasized participation in education and training activities to one that focused on quick job entry as the route to financial independence for welfare recipients. In addition, it shifted many of the responsibilities previously performed by the welfare department to private and public organizations outside the welfare department and exempted fewer welfare recipients from participating in the program. The program that emerged became one of the keystones of Michigan’s overall welfare reform program, which was approved for implementation under the 1996 law.

    This report examines the welfare-to-work programs operated in two of Detroit’s welfare districts: Fullerton-Jeffries and Hamtramck. It describes Michigan Opportunity and Skills Training (MOST), an education-focused program that was in place in these two offices in 1992 at the start of the evaluation, and the transition to Work First, an employment-focused program emphasizing job search services that was implemented in October 1994 and is...

    Michigan’s current welfare-to-work program evolved over the past decade from one that emphasized participation in education and training activities to one that focused on quick job entry as the route to financial independence for welfare recipients. In addition, it shifted many of the responsibilities previously performed by the welfare department to private and public organizations outside the welfare department and exempted fewer welfare recipients from participating in the program. The program that emerged became one of the keystones of Michigan’s overall welfare reform program, which was approved for implementation under the 1996 law.

    This report examines the welfare-to-work programs operated in two of Detroit’s welfare districts: Fullerton-Jeffries and Hamtramck. It describes Michigan Opportunity and Skills Training (MOST), an education-focused program that was in place in these two offices in 1992 at the start of the evaluation, and the transition to Work First, an employment-focused program emphasizing job search services that was implemented in October 1994 and is one component of Michigan’s current welfare reform program. It follows for two years the welfare recipients who were assigned to MOST, almost one-quarter of whom were referred to the Work First program within the two-year period, and examines the types of services and messages that they received, the cost of both strategies, and the effects of the treatment received on welfare receipt, employment, and earnings. It follows an early group of individuals for three years.

    The Detroit welfare-to-work program is being evaluated as part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS Evaluation; formerly called the JOBS Evaluation), conducted by the MDRC under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the U.S. Department of Education and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. NEWWS is a comprehensive study of 11 welfare-to-work programs in seven sites. Throughout this report, comparisons are made between the Detroit program and the other NEWWS programs. Two recently released reports provide a more comprehensive comparison among all programs, including results on children’s well-being, child care use while employed, supports provided to individuals who leave welfare for employment, and additional measures of self-sufficiency. A future report will examine five-year results for all programs and will compare program benefits with program costs.

     

    author abstract.

  • Individual Author: Molina, Frieda; Nelson, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    This first publication from the Neighborhood Jobs Initiative (NJI), a project that is developing innovative place-based employment strategies in several inner-city communities, introduces NJI's rationale and design. It describes the early steps taken in each of five low-income communities to define a local neighborhood-focused employment strategy, and it documents the challenges faced in the early phase of NJI implementation. (author abstract)

    This first publication from the Neighborhood Jobs Initiative (NJI), a project that is developing innovative place-based employment strategies in several inner-city communities, introduces NJI's rationale and design. It describes the early steps taken in each of five low-income communities to define a local neighborhood-focused employment strategy, and it documents the challenges faced in the early phase of NJI implementation. (author abstract)

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