Coordination and Integration of Welfare and Workforce Development Systems. Site Selection

03/20/2000

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the range of experiences and practices across the country. Accordingly, we selected sites that provided variation across several dimensions, including:

  • the proportion of welfare clients served by the workforce (JTPA) system;
  • the current structure of the JTPA and welfare system within the state;
  • geographic location;
  • TANF caseload; and
  • the state of the economy.

The characterization of the state/JTPA welfare structure model was taken from Nightingale et al. (1997), which provides a relatively recent look at states from the standpoint of welfare and workforce system coordination and responses to welfare reform. States were grouped into four categories ranging from those that have more integration of JTPA and welfare reform programs at the state level to those states that have fairly traditional and separate structural arrangements for JTPA and welfare at the state level. Six states were included in the study--Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

As with the states selected for the study, the local sites provide variation across a number of dimensions. The criteria used to select the local sites included: demographic location (large and medium; urban, suburban, and rural sites); the percentage of JTPA participants on AFDC as of 1996; and whether or not the site received a WtW competitive grant. We also selected sites that would provide for an adequate mix of urban and rural sites. Another factor that was important, given the nature of the study, was that the locality have a significant portion of families living below the poverty line. We selected local sites using service delivery areas (SDAs)  the regional service delivery systems under JTPA. In some cases, the SDAs have the same boundaries as cities or counties. In other cases they incorporate a broader area including several counties. Table 1 outlines the 12 local sites selected based on these criteria.

Table 1
Study Sites
State/Locality % JTPA IIA on AFDC(1) Demographic Location Percent Below Poverty Line Population(2) Comp. WtW Grant
Missouri
Kansas City
Sedalia
High
Medium
Urban (medium)
Rural
13
18
634,057
34,724
Yes
No
Ohio
Cleveland
Dayton
Painesville
Medium
High
High
Urban (large)
Urban (large)
Rural/Suburban
14
12
6
1,398,169
570,490
223,003
Yes
No
No
Oregon
Portland
Salem
Low
Low
Urban (medium)
Rural
13
13
600,811
239,324
Yes
No
Pennsylvania
Beaver County
Pittsburgh
Medium
High
Rural
Urban (large)
13
12
187,979
1,309,821
No
Yes
Rhode Island
Providence High Urban (medium) 12 580,015 Yes
South Carolina
Charleston
Manning
Medium
Medium
Urban (medium)
Rural
17
29
281,983
29,415
No
No
1.  Based on 1996 data, sites with over 40 percent of their JTPA IIA participants on AFDC were categorized as high; those with 25 to 40 percent were categorized as medium; and those with less than 25 percent were considered low. Source: 1996 JTPA Standard Program Information Report (SPIR), U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2.  County-level total resident population. Source:  State and County Demographic and Economic Profiles, U.S. Census Bureau.