Further Progress, Persistent Constraints: Findings From a Second Survey of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. The Grantee Survey


The second survey of WtW grantees used the same instrument as the first survey, with a few minor exceptions. In the second survey, two separate versions of the questionnaire were used. One version, for grantees previously included in the first survey sample, focused the wording of questions on actual implementation progress, enrollment, and placements, since these grantees could generally be expected to have passed the start-up phase. A second version was used for Round 3 competitive grantees, which had received grants less than a month before the survey was mailed. This version retains, in the wording of many questions, an option allowed in the first survey for grantees to report on their program plans and projections if the program had not yet begun. Other minor refinements were made (in both versions) to clarify question intent and expand the topics on which respondents' views were solicited.

The second grantee survey is, in large part, a repeat survey for early WtW grantees, but it also includes newer grantees for the first time. The second survey began with a sample of 681 formula and competitive grantees, compared to 598 in the first survey. The sample increased because additional competitive grants were awarded in November 1998 and September 1999.(10)

An overall response rate of 71 percent was achieved, from respondents who approximately mirror the composition of the overall sample.(11) Formula grantees, competitive grantees, and organizations with both types of grants accounted for roughly the same proportions of the overall survey sample and the survey respondents (Table I.1). Survey respondents and nonrespondents are also roughly comparable in the size of the grants they received (not shown in table).

Because this survey was the second for some respondents, the survey analysis examined changes in program implementation status for grantees who responded to both surveys. Of the 415 grantees that responded to the first survey, 314 or 76 percent also responded to the second survey. These repeat respondents thus account for 64 percent of the 487 who responded to the second survey. The changes in program implementation reported by these repeat respondents are examined later in this report, as an indicator of progress achieved among early grantees.(12)  

  Overall Survey Samplea
(n = 681)
Survey Respondents
(n = 487)
Organization Type:
JTPA SDA/PIC 77.5 72.5
Others 22.5 27.5b
Grant Type(s) Received
Formula Grant 72.5 70.6c
Competitive Grant 20.8 19.3
Formula and Competitive Grants 6.8 10.1d
Source: National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, Second Grantee Survey (November 1999 - February 2000).

a This column presents information that was available on all local substate formula grantees and competitive grantees from grantee lists provided by DOL in preparation for the survey.

b Other types of grantees include human services agencies, other public agencies, nonprofit community-based organizations, universities and colleges, and organizations serving people with disabilities.

c Includes 296 responding grantees that received formula funding only and 48 that received formula funding and a share of their state's discretionary funding.

d Includes 41 responding grantees that received formula and competitive grants, an additional seven that also received a share of their state's discretionary funding and one grantee receiving competitive and discretionary funds.


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1. The evaluation is being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), the prime contractor, and its subcontractors, The Urban Institute and Support Services International, Inc.

2. Details of the overall evaluation design can be found in Hershey et al. (1999).

3. We use the word "grantees" to refer to local organizations that are receiving competitive grants directly from DOL, or receiving formula funds through their state, or both.

4. Effective July 2000, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 mandates the replacement of PICs or their equivalents with Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), entities intended to coordinate workforce investment, adult education and literacy, and vocational rehabilitation services through One-Stop Centers.

5. The 1999 Social Security Act amendments affecting the WtW program, discussed in section B of this chapter, changed these requirements to simplify the eligibility criteria.

6. Under the original BBA specification, 30 percent of WtW funds could be spent on TANF recipients (or noncustodial parents of TANF recipients) who have characteristics associated with long-term welfare dependency, such as being a school dropout or a teen parent, or having a poor work history.

7. In New Jersey, for example, 44 percent of those on TANF in July 1997 were off assistance 12 months later; more than half of those who were off assistance were working (Rangarajan and Wood 1999).

8. Under the previous WtW eligibility criteria, noncustodial parents qualified for WtW services if they themselves satisfied the "70 percent" or "30 percent" eligibility criteria and their children were part of a long-term TANF case.

9. Grantees under the Native American WtW program could begin serving newly eligible individuals and providing job training immediately upon enactment of the amendments on November 29, 1999.

10. Although 75 new grants were awarded in Round 2, and 64 in Round 3, the overall sample did not increase by 139, for several reasons. Some of the grantees receiving new competitive grants had already received earlier formula or competitive grants. A total of 28 such cases were found in which an organization had multiple grants; they were treated as a single grantee organization for the second survey. An additional 28 original sample members on investigation proved to be no longer functioning as WtW program operators, had merged with another grantee organization, or had returned their WtW funding. The net result for the second survey was an increase in the sample of only 83.

11. Appendix Table 1 presents response rates by state. The first grantee survey also achieved a response rate of 71 percent.

12. Since repeat respondents are only part of the overall survey respondents, it is of some interest whether they can serve as a basis for judgments about overall implementation trends. As shown in Appendix Table 2, the repeat respondents are somewhat more likely to be formula grantees than are the overall respondents to the second survey. However, repeat respondents display some important changes that are similar to shifts between the first and second overall survey samples. In both cases, there is a dramatic increase in how many grantees have begun WtW service delivery, from about 50 to about 90 percent. In addition, there is a similar increase in the number of participants enrolled, although repeat respondents have increased their enrollment even more sharply. This difference is natural, since the overall second survey sample includes new grantees.

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