Fixing to Change: A Best Practices Assessment of One-Stop Job Centers Working With Welfare Recipients. Tarrant County Employment Network

03/01/1999

The Tarrant County Employment Network provided us with a sample of 72 JOBS cases drawn from entering participants during calendar year 1996. This sample included information about client characteristics, case manager contacts, long term welfare recipiency, and status at termination from the JOBS program. No consistent data were available regarding wages and hours for those employed, nor follow-up data regarding employment retention.

Overall, JOBS participants at the Employment Network tend to be older, non-white, with a high number of dependents and low levels of education. Over 62 percent have no high school diploma or GED, more than half are over age 25, and 44 percent have three or more dependents. Fewer than one-third are white, and more than half have participated in the welfare system for 36 or more of the 60 months prior to entry to the JOBS program. It is useful to note that about 36 percent of all clients included in this data analysis were currently active in the JOBS program at the end of calendar 1996.

Note that the "termination status" reported in the table below lists a series of mutually exclusive reasons/status at termination. Some were current participants, some were employed, others received assessment only, while others completed a GED or were referred to training.

These data tend to confirm earlier characterizations of the Employment Network's client population. Key observations about the Tarrant County Employment Network data include:

  • Case Manager Contacts: Age and length of time in the welfare system seem to have little relationship to the number of case manager contacts.(33) However, African American and Native American clients appear to have significantly fewer case manager contacts on average. Clients with no dependents (a very small group) also tend to have fewer contacts, while those with three or more dependents tend to have significantly more case manager contacts. The same is true for the large majority of clients with fewer than 12 years of education or equivalent (GED). These variations in case manager contact may not be well understood - they may mean that more clients are out of compliance, are reluctant to seek help, or that fewer services are being made available to these groups.
  • Long Term Welfare Participation: There were no significant racial or ethnic differences in long term welfare participation.(34) Clients with only one child tended to be less likely to have extensive prior experience with the welfare system, although those with two dependents tend to have more prior welfare experience than those clients with three or more children. Age does seem to be correlated with long term welfare participation, particularly for teens and those age 40 and older; and participants with a high school diploma or GED tend to have higher long term participation rates as well.
  • Length of JOBS Participation:(35) Overall, the average length of participation was 162 days for the sample analyzed. African American and Native American clients tend to have a disproportionate share of short periods of participation in the JOBS program, a corollary observation their lower average number of case manager contacts. The number of dependents appears to be correlated with the length of JOBS participation, while clients age 40 and older tend to be over-represented in both short and long-term program participation. Education seems to have a slight positive impact on the distribution of short participation cases.
  • Assessment Only: About 7 percent of all JOBS clients at the Employment Network participate in assessment only prior to termination. This proportion is double for African American clients, and about half for clients of other races/ethnicity. The data suggest higher rates of termination after assessment for clients with only one dependent and those between the ages of 25 and 39, and for those with a high school diploma, GED, or some college.
  • Employment at Termination: Overall, about 17 percent of JOBS clients were employed at the time their participation in the JOBS program was terminated. Employment rates are considerably higher for African American and Native American participants, reaching nearly one third of all participants in these racial/ethnic groups. The employment rate averages 40 percent for clients with two dependents, but is much lower for clients with one, or three or more dependents. Employment rates also tend to be higher for clients in their late teens and early twenties, and for those age 40 and older. There appears to be a strong correlation between years of education and employment - clients without a high school diploma or GED (over 62 percent of all JOBS clients) have an employment rate of only 7 percent.
  • Education and Training Outcomes: Over 30 percent of JOBS participants at the Employment Network terminate their JOBS participation following an increased grade level, referral to training, or completion of a GED. Younger clients, and those with two dependents, tend to have a higher education and training outcomes at termination.
  • Negative Termination: Overall, roughly 17 percent of JOBS participants are terminated for negative reasons, such as the failure to comply with work participation or eligibility rules. This rate is considerably higher for clients with two dependents and those age 40 and over.

Table 2
Tarrant County Employment Network

  All Jobs Ave
Csmgr
Cntcts
Long
Term
Welfare
Length of Participation Termination Status (exclusive outcomes)
Shortest
Quartile
Longest
Quartile
Ave
Length
Active Assess Employ GED Refer to
Training
Increase
Grade
Negative
All JOBS 100.0% 32.5 54.2% 25.0% 25.0% 162.0 36.1% 6.9% 16.7% 20.8% 4.2% 5.6% 16.7%
Female 97.2% 32.6 55.7% 25.7% 25.7% 162.2 35.7% 7.1% 17.1% 21.4% 4.3% 5.7% 15.7%
Single Parent 83.3% 33.2 53.3% 26.7% 26.7% 165.3 35.0% 8.3% 13.3% 20.0% 5.0% 5.0% 18.3%
Long-Term Welfare 54.2% 35.4 100.0% 25.6% 25.6% 157.2 33.3% 5.1% 17.9% 25.6% 7.7% 0.0% 20.5%
Race/Ethnicity
White 31.9% 36.5 52.2% 26.1% 30.4% 171.2 39.1% 4.3% 8.7% 34.8% 4.3% 4.3% 13.0%
African American 27.8% 20.2 60.0% 35.0% 25.0% 159.7 15.0% 15.0% 30.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 20.0%
Hispanic 36.1% 40.4 53.9% 15.4% 19.2% 152.7 50.0% 3.9% 11.5% 15.4% 0.0% 7.7% 15.4%
Asian 0.0% * * * * * * * * * * * *
Native American 4.2% 14.3 33.3% 33.3% 33.3% 187.7 33.3% 0.0% 33.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 33.3%
No. of Dependents
0 2.8% 13.5 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 81.5 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 50.0%
1 25.0% 25.5 38.9% 27.8% 11.1% 139.6 33.3% 11.1% 16.7% 16.7% 5.6% 11.1% 11.1%
2 27.8% 24.0 65.0% 25.0% 30.0% 178.7 10.0% 5.0% 40.0% 30.0% 0.0% 0.0% 30.0%
3+ 44.4% 42.8 56.3% 21.9% 31.3% 169.1 53.1% 6.3% 3.1% 18.7% 6.3% 6.3% 9.4%
Age
<19 11.1% 33.1 25.0% 25.0% 0.0% 126.0 25.0% 0.0% 0.0% 25.0% 0.0% 37.5% 12.5%
19-24 33.3% 30.1 54.2% 25.0% 33.3% 177.6 33.3% 4.2% 29.2% 25.0% 4.2% 0.0% 16.7%
25-39 51.4% 35.8 59.5% 21.6% 24.3% 161.9 40.5% 10.8% 10.8% 18.9% 5.4% 2.7% 16.2%
40+ 4.2% 8.7 66.7% 66.7% 33.3% 134.3 33.3% 0.0% 33.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 33.3%
Years Education
<12 62.5% 41.0 51.1% 20.0% 31.1% 178.4 35.6% 0.0% 6.7% 28.9% 4.4% 8.9% 22.2%
12 27.8% 20.0 65.0% 35.0% 10.0% 119.8 40.0% 15.0% 30.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% 10.0%
13-15 9.7% 13.4 42.9% 28.6% 28.6% 177.1 28.6% 28.6% 42.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
16+ 0.0% * * * * * * * * * * * *

*  Insufficient cell size for accurate reporting.