This report responds to a congressional mandate for rapid findings on early WtW program implementation from the National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. Meeting this mandate would not have been possible without the diligent work of a large cast of individuals at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) and its partner organizations. The authors wish to acknowledge their invaluable contributions.
At MPR, we are thankful to Todd Ensor for his key role in designing and pretesting the WtW grantee survey instrument. Sedhou Ranganathan assembled the respondent sample and tracking database. Shawn Marsh and Todd Ensor conducted the survey, with oversight from Rita Stapulonis, the survey director for the overall evaluation. Their challenging assignment entailed coordinating the printing and mailing of survey instruments, tracking the sample (especially nonrespondents) to achieve the desired response rate, answering respondent questions, overseeing quality assurance procedures, and creating a research data set all over a period of about three months. A team of dedicated quality control staff reviewed responses and diligently contacted grantees when necessary to clarify ambiguities or contradictions. Dina Kirschenbaum carefully and efficiently completed the programming that supported the analysis, and Alison Stieglitz prepared many of the tables. Patricia Ciaccio provided creative but careful editing. Jennifer Baskwell and others among MPR's secretarial staff did a superb word processing and production job, as usual.
We are also grateful to Walter Corson and Tom Fraker at MPR; Demetra Nightingale, Nancy Pindus, and Terri Thompson at the Urban Institute, and Walter Hillabrant at Support Services International, Inc., for their insightful comments as reviewers of the draft document.
We received valuable support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor. Alana Landey, the project officer in the USDHHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, has given consistently useful advice and guidance. Staff from the USDOL Welfare-to-Work Office in the Employment and Training Administration, in particular Cheryl Turner, have provided important information about the policy framework in which the welfare-to-work programs operate.
We are also indebted to the hundreds of busy managers and administrators who gave generously of their time and provided information on their WtW programs. We appreciate their contributions, as well as those of others we may have omitted unintentionally.