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Urban Institute

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Improving child care subsidy programs: Findings from the Work Support Strategies evaluation

Individual Author: 
Hahn, Heather
Rohacek, Monica
Isaacs, Julia

Child care subsidies are critical for the well-being of low-income families, including parents’ economic success and children’s development. To inform state efforts to simplify access to child care subsidies and improve service delivery, this report highlights steps taken and lessons learned by five states that participated in the Work Support Strategies initiative between 2012 and 2015. These states worked to improve child care subsidy access and retention, efficiency of service delivery, quality of client service, and alignment with other benefit programs.

The road to school: How far students travel to school in the choice-rich cities of Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC

Individual Author: 
Blagg, Kristin
Chingos, Matthew
Corcoran, Sean P.
Cordes, Sarah A.
Cowen, Joshua
Denice, Patrick
Gross, Betheny
Lincove, Jane Arnold
Sattin-Bajaj, Carolyn
Schwartz, Amy Ellen
Valant, Jon

How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

Early results of the TAACCCT grants

Individual Author: 
Durham, Christin
Eyster, Lauren
Mikelson, Kelly S.
Cohen, Elissa

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program is a $2 billion federal workforce investment aimed at helping community colleges across the nation increase their capacity to provide education and training programs for in-demand jobs. The US Department of Labor (DOL) administers the seven year grant program in partnership with the US Department of Education. This brief presents preliminary results on key outcomes and characteristics of grant-funded program participants from the first four years of TAACCCT.

New evidence on integrated career pathways: Final impact report for Accelerating Opportunity

Individual Author: 
Anderson, Theresa
Kuehn, Daniel
Eyster, Lauren
Barnow, Burt S.
Lerman, Robert I.

This final impact report describes the effect of Accelerating Opportunity (AO) on education and employment outcomes for underprepared adult learners. Designed and led by Jobs for the Future and national partners, AO allowed adults with low basic skills to enroll in integrated career pathways at community and technical colleges. The quasi-experimental impact analysis shows that AO students earned more credentials while taking fewer credits, suggesting more efficient course-taking and accelerated learning.

The antipoverty effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Individual Author: 
Wheaton, Laura
Tran, Victoria

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of poor and low-income Americans purchase food, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. This analysis estimates SNAP’s effect on poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). We augment the Census Bureau’s SPM to correct for the underreporting of SNAP and other means-tested benefits in the underlying survey data. We find that SNAP removed 8.4 million people from poverty in 2015, reducing the poverty rate from 15.4 percent to 12.8 percent (a reduction of 17 percent).

Arches Transformative Mentoring program: An implementation and impact evaluation in New York City

Individual Author: 
Lynch, Mathew
Astone, Nan Marie
Collazos, Juan
Lipman, Micaela
Esthappan, Sino

This report evaluates the New York City-based Arches Transformative Mentoring program, finding that participation in the program reduces one-year felony reconviction by over two-thirds, and reduces two-year felony reconviction by over half, with especially profound impacts for the youngest program participants. The program's evidence-based curriculum is completed over a 6-12-month period and delivered in a group setting by "credible messengers," direct service professionals with backgrounds similar to the populations they serve.

Findings from the Accelerating Opportunity evaluation: Building the evidence on integrated career pathways

Individual Author: 
Eyster, Lauren
Barnow, Burt S.
Anderson, Theresa
Conway, Maureen
Lerman, Robert I.
Jain, Ranita
Kuehn, Daniel
Montes, Marcela

This brief summarizes findings from implementation, impact, and cost-benefit evaluations of Accelerating Opportunity (AO). AO is a career pathways initiative launched in 2011 that aims to help adults with low basic skills earn valued occupational credentials, obtain well-paying jobs, and sustain rewarding careers. AO was one of the first efforts to replicate and scale key elements of Washington state's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model. The evaluation took place in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

Building workforce success: Advancing careers with multiple postsecondary credentials

Individual Author: 
Eyster, Lauren

This brief presents findings from an analysis of young adults in the US who successfully moved beyond initial career pathway steps to attain middle-skill jobs. Using the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we examine the postsecondary and employment trajectories of the young adults through their early thirties who earn more than one postsecondary credential, compared to those who don't. We also explore the challenges young adults may face in advancing their schooling and careers beyond a first credential.

Financing supportive services in assisted communities

Individual Author: 
Parkes, Rhae

This brief describes strategies and opportunities for Public Housing Authorities and other owners and operators of assisted housing to finance supportive services. This brief is not exhaustive, but it compiles lessons and observations based on the author’s work in the industry. Given the significant challenges some families face, even while housed, no single strategy will work in isolation. A multilayered approach is needed to develop more sustainable platforms on which to deliver supportive services. (Author abstract)