Further Progress, Persistent Constraints: Findings From a Second Survey of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. Grantees Continue to Emphasize Services That Go Beyond the Work-first Model

06/01/2000

In keeping with the goals of the WtW program, grantees have maintained a strong emphasis on preparing participants for work and helping them find employment (Table II.8). Job readiness and job placement, along with assessment and case management, are among the most commonly offered components of WtW grantees' programs, at the time of both the second survey and the first.

However, grantees clearly are dealing with participants whose needs go beyond simply finding a regular job in the open market. Although almost two-thirds of grantees continue to support placement in unsubsidized employment, greater funding emphasis continues to be placed on the various supported work activities most participants are viewed as needing for some time before they would have a good chance of succeeding in a regular unsubsidized job. Some form of supported work activity — on-the-job training, work experience, subsidized employment, or community service — is a feature of almost 85 percent of the grantees' programs. Job retention and other post-employment services are given as much or more emphasis as regular job placement, both in terms of the number of grantees offering such services and the portion of grant funds devoted to them. 

 

TABLE II.8
PROJECTED USES OF FEDERAL WTW GRANT FUNDS
(Percentages)
  Grantees Providing Services with Federal WtW Fundsa Projected Share of Overall Federal WtW Fundsb
Use of Funds First Grantee Survey Second Grantee Survey First Grantee Survey Second Grantee Survey
Basic Employment Services
Assessment and/or Case Management 92.9 92.0 11.2 15.0**
Job Readiness 83.5 84.5 6.6 8.1
Job Placementc 82.8 82.6 7.5 7.8
Participant Work Activities
Unsubsidized Employment 65.6 63.7 3.1 5.2
Supported Work Activitiesd 91.1 84.4 21.7 17.2
On-the-job training 75.7 70.4    
Work experience program 75.4 59.8    
Subsidized employment 60.8 47.7    
- in the private sector 55.9 39.8    
- in the public sector 52.2 43.2    
Community service 48.6 27.2    
Postemployment Services
Postemployment Trainingd 87.1 79.2 8.9 10.0
Occupational skills 84.3 70.2    
Basic skills or ESL education 74.9 70.5    
Job Retention Servicesd 86.1 90.3 8.8 10.8
Counseling 73.2 83.3    
Workshops/support groups 61.3 61.9    
On-site coaching 59.5 68.9    
Mediation with employers to resolve workplace problems 59.2 60.9    
Workplace mentors 51.1 41.3    
Other Supportive Services
Transportation Assistanced 81.5 83.7 7.0 5.5
Direct transportation assistance to individuals 69.4 75.2    
Transportation contracts or subsidies to transportation providers 48.2 45.7    
Child Care Assistanced 62.8 67.7 9.2 3.2***
Direct assistance to individuals 43.5 48.1    
Contracts or subsidies to providers 41.9 39.9    
Substance Abuse Treatment 50.4 46.1 1.8 1.7
Mental Health Services 39.2 36.1 1.0 0.8
Assistance with Other Employment-Related Expenses 71.9 61.3 2.0 2.0
Othere 15.2 32.9 1.6 1.2
Program Administrationf 86.1 77.5 9.6 9.7
Source: National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, First Grantee Survey (November 1998 -February 1999) and Second Grantee Survey (November 1999 - February 2000).

Note:  ESL = English as a Second Language.

a Percentages are of grantee organizations who reported on the services they would provide with federal WtW funds; they represent 95.2 percent of survey respondents in the first grantee survey and 98.8 percent among respondents in the second grantee survey.

b Estimated share is based on grantees’ reported percentages, weighted by each grantee’s total federal WtW funding received. Breakouts for service subcategories were not requested in the second grantee survey and therefore cannot be reported.

c Respondents were asked to distinguish between funds budgeted for job placement services that staff provide and the work activities themselves in which participants are placed. Some grantees, however, may not have been able to make this distinction, and may have reported the placement function as part of what they had budgeted for work activities.

d The overall percentages shown for supported work, post-employment training, job retention, transportation and child care exceed the percentages shown for each of their component activity or service types because some grantees offer more than one type.

e Other service or activity categories reported included participant or employer recruitment costs, housing or relocation assistance, individual development accounts, supportive payments to participants, and equipment.

f Although grantees are allowed to devote up to 15 percent of funds to administration, some grantees may have found other resources to cover administrative costs, and be devoting all of their WtW grant to services.

*  Difference between first and second survey results was significantly different from zero at the .10 level, two-tailed test.

**  Difference between first and second survey results was significantly different from zero at the .05 level, two-tailed test.

***  Difference between first and second survey results was significantly different from zero at the .01 level, two-tailed test.

 


 

Footnotes

1.  The 48 state-level grantees at the time of the first survey included 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Six states declined FY 1998 funding: Idaho, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Three additional states — Arizona, Delaware, and North Dakota — declined or returned FY 1999 formula funding.

2.  Of the 415 grantees responding to the first grantee survey, 207 (or 50 percent) indicated that they had begun delivering WtW services. The number of grantees who had begun enrolling WtW participants was lower, however; these 179 organizations were 43.4 percent of respondents to the first grantee survey. In our first report, we explained this discrepancy by the lag that sometimes occurs while programs arrange for referrals, obtain referral lists, conduct outreach, hold orientation sessions, or embark on other activities before beginning formal enrollment of participants.

3.  Evaluation process visits and other contacts with WtW grantees suggest that the complexity of WtW financial reporting requirements may be working against the pooling of WtW funds and funds from other sources to develop comprehensive programs. Some administrators reported that it is more burdensome to try to serve this population under a single program and then, behind the scenes, figure out which funding source to bill for their services, than to administer or subcontract for different programs targeting individuals meeting specific eligibility requirements.

4.  In the second grantee survey, one organization reported that it had received two WtW competitive awards. This information was consistent with DOL records.

5.  Grantees that have received multiple grants (for example, formula and competitive) are in some cases using them to run multiple programs, but the pattern of multiple programs is clearly widespread even among grantees that have received only a single WtW grant. On average, grantees reported 2.4 times as many distinct programs as they had distinct grants (Table II.6).

6.  The grantee survey listed the criteria that make up the 70 percent federal eligibility category as well as several that could be used to qualify individuals in the 30 percent category: no high school diploma or GED and low skills; poor work history; substance abuse problems; nearing or past TANF time limit; long-term recipient; teenage parent; noncustodial parent; public housing resident; people with disabilities; school dropouts; limited English proficiency; and victims of domestic violence.

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