Programs to help the hard to employ move into jobs and become self-sufficient have become increasingly important in the context of time-limited public assistance under the welfare reforms of 1996. The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grants program provided states and local areas with flexible funding for programs to help the hard to employ move into employment. This report examines two programs that were central components of the overall WtW strategy in Philadelphia — the Regional Service Centers (RSCs) and the Transitional Work Corporation (TWC). These programs differed in their approaches to serving the hard to employ and in their target populations. The RSCs offered 30 days of basic job search assistance services to the broad WtW-eligible population, while TWC provided paid work experience for up to six months and targeted WtW-eligible people who had little or no work experience.
The main objective of this study was to examine the employment, earnings, and TANF receipt outcomes of participants in these two WtW programs. Since the study is not based on the random assignment of clients to these programs, differences in the outcomes for RSC and TWC participants do not provide evidence of program impacts or the relative effectiveness of these two program models. The study does, however, provide an overall description of Philadelphia's WtW participants' outcomes after program entry and a comparison of the outcomes for different populations served with different program approaches.