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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: Helmcamp, Leslie; Garza, Roxanne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Texas can do better to strengthen the adult basic education and literacy system to move more Texans into a family-supporting career. To make system-wide changes to the way adult basic education is delivered and improve outcomes for adult learners in Texas, state policymakers and ABE providers should adopt a goal of integrating career pathways and bridge programs to streamline and shorten the process for adult learners to obtain the training and education they need to attain a certificate or degree, a higher-wage job, and financial independence.

    This policy page provides an overview of the adult basic education and literacy system in Texas and makes recommendations for strengthening the ABE and literacy framework to reach more students and improve outcomes for adult learners. (author abstract)

    Texas can do better to strengthen the adult basic education and literacy system to move more Texans into a family-supporting career. To make system-wide changes to the way adult basic education is delivered and improve outcomes for adult learners in Texas, state policymakers and ABE providers should adopt a goal of integrating career pathways and bridge programs to streamline and shorten the process for adult learners to obtain the training and education they need to attain a certificate or degree, a higher-wage job, and financial independence.

    This policy page provides an overview of the adult basic education and literacy system in Texas and makes recommendations for strengthening the ABE and literacy framework to reach more students and improve outcomes for adult learners. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jacobs, Elisabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In the 2013 State of the Union Address, the president stressed the strong bond between quality education and job security. In keeping with the correlation between investing in workers and resultant economic gain, Elisabeth Jacobs outlines the need for job training opportunities for displaced workers, with a focus on the long-term unemployed, and analyzes ideas behind positive economic reinforcement of, what she terms, the “virtuous circle.” This cycle, Jacobs writes, includes investing in a culture of “lifetime learning,” creating more productive and profitable employees, and therefore improving the prospects of America’s unemployed workers and their families. She also addresses the policies currently in place for serving the unemployed, and offers a set of suggestions for future reforms that would better serve the large population of out-of-work individuals who could be expected to benefit from improvements to the nation’s workforce development policy architecture. (author abstract)

    In the 2013 State of the Union Address, the president stressed the strong bond between quality education and job security. In keeping with the correlation between investing in workers and resultant economic gain, Elisabeth Jacobs outlines the need for job training opportunities for displaced workers, with a focus on the long-term unemployed, and analyzes ideas behind positive economic reinforcement of, what she terms, the “virtuous circle.” This cycle, Jacobs writes, includes investing in a culture of “lifetime learning,” creating more productive and profitable employees, and therefore improving the prospects of America’s unemployed workers and their families. She also addresses the policies currently in place for serving the unemployed, and offers a set of suggestions for future reforms that would better serve the large population of out-of-work individuals who could be expected to benefit from improvements to the nation’s workforce development policy architecture. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edelman, Peter B.; Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author...

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author abstract)

    Also published as IRP Discussion Paper 1412-13.

  • Individual Author: Iowa Skills2Complete Coalition
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition is a statewide partnership of Iowa’s business, community, education, legislative, and workforce development leaders that serve as an organized voice for “skills” at the state’s capital and build more policymaker support for state policies that grow Iowa’s economy by investing in its workforce.

    The Coalition applauds the smart investments in the state’s workforce to meet the demand for skilled workers that Iowa’s policymakers have made over the last two years. Funding for community colleges has increased by almost 8 percent, although it still falls short of pre-recession levels. The state legislature also passed legislation to create three new programs that address the skills gap and help more adult workers access the necessary education and training required by jobs in today’s labor market. The Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Act enables community colleges to develop bridge programs to help adults with limited academic or English skills build basic skills and prepare for credit-bearing postsecondary education programs. The GAP...

    The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition is a statewide partnership of Iowa’s business, community, education, legislative, and workforce development leaders that serve as an organized voice for “skills” at the state’s capital and build more policymaker support for state policies that grow Iowa’s economy by investing in its workforce.

    The Coalition applauds the smart investments in the state’s workforce to meet the demand for skilled workers that Iowa’s policymakers have made over the last two years. Funding for community colleges has increased by almost 8 percent, although it still falls short of pre-recession levels. The state legislature also passed legislation to create three new programs that address the skills gap and help more adult workers access the necessary education and training required by jobs in today’s labor market. The Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Act enables community colleges to develop bridge programs to help adults with limited academic or English skills build basic skills and prepare for credit-bearing postsecondary education programs. The GAP Tuition Assistance Program supports students enrolled in non-credit certificate programs, the cost of which is not covered by federal financial aid, and yet offers the opportunity to earn certificates necessary to qualify for many middle-skill jobs. The Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant Program helps students who are seeking education and training for jobs in industries experiencing acute shortages of skilled workers.

    Most recently, the Governor announced his Skilled Iowa Initiative which seeks to help more Iowans earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and encourage more employers to consider and hire workers who have earned this credential. The Skilled Iowa Initiative is designed to improve the job training and marketability of Iowa’s workforce and drive future economic growth for the state. Similar initiatives throughout the country have changed the landscape of local economies through programs that incorporate this nationally recognized assessment system. The assessment was designed to measure individual workers’ skills in the areas of applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition recognizes that the Skilled Iowa Initiative contains important components of engaging employers in the state’s strategies and helping more Iowans learn the skill sets required for the labor market.

    The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition offers these policy recommendations to complement and accelerate the steps Iowa’s policymakers have already taken for the state’s industries and workers:

    - Appropriate $5 million in state revenue for adult basic education and integrated learning programs, which combine literacy skill development with job training, to help more low-skill adult workers get on a path toward earning postsecondary credentials and having the necessary skills for employment.

    - Invest in the use of pathway navigators at a level of $2 million to ensure adult learners enrolled in career pathways programs complete these programs and earn skilled credentials.

    - Create capacity within existing postsecondary education and job training funding to develop regional industry sector partnerships around the state.

    -Ensure Iowa’s education and workforce development system has the capacity to evaluate the impact of its initiatives and programs on closing skill gaps in key industries and counting numbers of credentials earned by workers through these efforts. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Decker, Paul T.; Berk, Jillian A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    In 1998, President Clinton signed the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Implemented in 2000, WIA replaced the Job Partnership Training Act (JTPA) as the primary federal job training program. Congress viewed WIA as a way to end “business as usual” in the workforce investment system. WIA aimed to transform the employment and training system by streamlining service delivery and providing universal access to services. It promoted customer choice by giving state and local agencies more flexibility in service design, attempted to more fully engage businesses, and fundamentally changed the service provided to youth…

    The primary goals of this “Policy Retrospectives” piece are to synthesize what we know empirically about the WIA program and discuss lessons for WIA reauthorization. In particular, we explore the design of the WIA program and its initial implementation and evolution. We also examine the extent to which states and local areas have taken advantage of the flexibility inherent in WIA’s design. Since results from an experimental evaluation of WIA will not be...

    In 1998, President Clinton signed the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Implemented in 2000, WIA replaced the Job Partnership Training Act (JTPA) as the primary federal job training program. Congress viewed WIA as a way to end “business as usual” in the workforce investment system. WIA aimed to transform the employment and training system by streamlining service delivery and providing universal access to services. It promoted customer choice by giving state and local agencies more flexibility in service design, attempted to more fully engage businesses, and fundamentally changed the service provided to youth…

    The primary goals of this “Policy Retrospectives” piece are to synthesize what we know empirically about the WIA program and discuss lessons for WIA reauthorization. In particular, we explore the design of the WIA program and its initial implementation and evolution. We also examine the extent to which states and local areas have taken advantage of the flexibility inherent in WIA’s design. Since results from an experimental evaluation of WIA will not be available until 2015, we present evidence from evaluations of prior federal job training programs as well as nonexperimental evaluations of WIA and experimental evaluations of WIA service components. We are interested in evidence of the impact of WIA on participants, the impact of WIA service components, and any evidence about the impact of WIA on different populations of workers. (author introduction)

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