How Effective Are Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches? Five-Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs. Impacts by Education Subgroup

12/01/2001

Consistent with the findings for the full sample, all programs had substantial impacts on participation in any activity for both educational attainment subgroups, of roughly equal magnitude to those found for the full sample. These impacts were statistically significant in all sites except for Portland, where the lack of statistical significance is likely a product of small sample size.(12) All seven programs also had impacts on job search participation, equal in size to those found for the full sample, for both subgroups. (See Tables 3.2 and 3.3 for impacts on participation in any activity, job search, and any education or training activity, by educational attainment subgroup. Impacts on participation in basic education, post-secondary education, vocational training, and work experience are presented in Appendix Tables B.2 and B.3.) In the paragraphs that follow, impacts on participation in specific activities are discussed for both high school graduates and nongraduates.

Table 3.2
Five-Year Impacts on Participation in Employment-Related Activities for Sample Members Without a High School Diploma or GED at Random Assignment
Site and Program Sample Size Program Group (%) Control Group (%) Difference (Impact) Percentage Change (%)
Any activity
Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 407 70.1 49.8 20.3 *** 40.7
Atlanta Human Capital Development 437 74.3 49.8 24.5 *** 49.2
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 434 77.0 64.1 13.0 *** 20.2
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 468 85.0 64.1 20.9 *** 32.6
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 657 77.0 55.1 21.9 *** 39.7
Riverside Human Capital Development 778 82.0 55.1 26.8 *** 48.6
Portland 163 82.0 71.4 10.7 14.9
Job search or job club
Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 407 56.6 27.7 28.9 *** 104.4
Atlanta Human Capital Development 437 43.2 27.7 15.5 *** 56.1
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 434 51.1 22.6 28.5 *** 126.4
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 468 39.3 22.6 16.7 *** 74.0
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 657 58.2 19.6 38.5 *** 196.5
Riverside Human Capital Development 778 49.6 19.6 30.0 *** 152.9
Portland 163 64.8 36.4 28.4 *** 78.1
Any education or training
Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 407 40.3 31.0 9.3 ** 30.0
Atlanta Human Capital Development 437 65.4 31.0 34.4 *** 111.3
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 434 57.4 54.4 3.0 5.5
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 468 75.9 54.4 21.5 *** 39.5
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 657 46.0 47.1 -1.0 -2.2
Riverside Human Capital Development 778 68.9 47.1 21.9 *** 46.4
Portland 163 68.3 58.0 10.3 17.8
SOURCE: MDRC calculations from the Five-Year Client Survey.
NOTES: See Appendix A.2.
Table 3.3
Five-Year Impacts on Participation in Employment-Related Activities for Sample Members With a High School Diploma or GED at Random Assignment

Site and Program

Sample Size Program Group (%) Control Group (%) Difference (Impact) Percentage Change (%)
Any activity
Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 664 77.9 58.1 19.7 *** 34.0
Atlanta Human Capital Development 709 73.8 58.1 15.7 *** 27.0
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 663 78.0 64.0 14.0 *** 21.9
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 641 79.0 64.0 15.0 *** 23.5
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 562 79.8 60.4 19.3 *** 32.0
Portland 334 84.2 77.1 7.1 9.2
Job search or job club
Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 664 60.6 31.6 29.0 *** 91.6
Atlanta Human Capital Development 709 44.1 31.6 12.4 *** 39.3
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 663 51.9 20.5 31.4 *** 153.3
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 641 39.5 20.5 19.0 *** 92.6
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 562 47.3 21.2 26.0 *** 122.7
Portland 334 64.2 36.0 28.2 *** 78.2
Any education or training
Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 664 43.8 38.1 5.7 15.0
Atlanta Human Capital Development 709 58.0 38.1 19.9 *** 52.2
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 663 52.9 55.9 -3.0 -5.4
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 641 65.7 55.9 9.8 *** 17.6
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 562 55.6 51.4 4.2 8.3
Portland 334 67.5 53.2 14.3 ** 26.9
SOURCE: MDRC calculations from the Five-Year Client Survey.
NOTES: See Appendix A.2

1. High School Nongraduates

All three HCD programs assigned nongraduate sample members to basic education as their first activity, and the majority of nongraduate HCDs (approximately 60 to 70 percent) in all three programs participated in basic education over the five-year follow-up period. These participation levels resulted in impacts ranging from 27 percentage points in Grand Rapids to 42 percentage points in Atlanta. A small increase in post-secondary education participation in Grand Rapids was the only impact found on participation in any education or training activity beyond basic education for this subgroup. (See Appendix Table B.2.)

Atlanta LFA and Portland, the only two employment-focused programs to increase education and training participation for the full sample, also increased this type of participation for nongraduates. The Atlanta LFA program had a 16 percentage point increase in basic education participation and the Portland program had a more modest 10 percentage point gain. None of the employment-focused programs increased participation in vocational training or post-secondary education for this subgroup.

2. High School Graduates

The HCD programs in Atlanta and Grand Rapids enrolled sample members with a high school diploma or GED at the time of study entry, and they often assigned sample members with these credentials to vocational training programs. Basic education was also an assigned activity for some sample members with a diploma or GED certificate if they had low math or reading skills. Although assignments to college were not made in HCD programs, in some instances case managers approved post-secondary education courses that program group members had already enrolled in on their own as fulfillment of the participation requirement.

In Atlanta, 44 percent of graduate HCDs participated in a vocational training program over the follow-up period, resulting in a large impact (17 percentage points) on the measure for this subgroup. Participation in post-secondary education was less common, and the program did not increase participation in this activity. In Grand Rapids, participation levels were high in both college and vocational training for graduates among both program and control group members, resulting in no impacts on either activity. Both HCD programs generated small increases in basic education participation for this subgroup. (See Appendix Table B.3.)

As was found for the full sample and for nongraduates, impacts on education and training activities for graduates in the three LFA programs were not widespread. None of the three LFA programs had a statistically significant impact on the aggregate education and training participation measure. The only participation impact found among these programs for this subgroup was a small increase in basic education participation in Atlanta.

The Portland program increased education and training participation by 14 percentage points for graduates, principally the result of a large 21 percentage point increase in college participation. More than half of the program group members in Portland took a course for credit at a two-year or four-year college, which was the only NEWWS program to increase college participation.