Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. B. Institutional Arrangements

08/01/2002

A central feature of the WtW grants program is that, while the grants are to target services to welfare recipients, the funds flow primarily through the workforce system, not through the welfare system. This does not mean, however, that WIBs operate the programs nor does it mean that the WtW programs necessarily operate totally separate from TANF work programs. In the study sites, WIBs generally contracted with other entities for service delivery as required by the WIA legislation, particularly nonprofit organizations, and chose also to contract for WtW-grant funded services. In addition, most of the WtW grantee agencies, particularly those that are WIBs, had a pre-existing role in TANF, usually providing work-related services under contract.

Workforce investment boards are the most common administrative entity for WtW grants and they generally subcontract to other agencies. Nationwide, workforce agencies are the most common local administrative entity for WtW grants because, according to the legislation, WIBs receive most of the state's formula grant funding and also because many applied for competitive grants. Therefore, in most (seven) of the study sites, the WtW grant(s) (or formula-funded subgrants from the state) are administered through the same agency that administers WIA (and formerly JTPA) (Table II.2). Since it was very common under JTPA, and generally required under WIA, to contract for service delivery, WIBs generally also chose to subcontract for WtW service delivery.

 

Table II.2.
Type of Organization Administering the WtW Grant, by Study Site

Study Site

Host/Grantee Agency Type of Organization
SDA/ PIC/WIB Nonprofit Public Agency Educational Institution
Boston, Massachusetts Office of Jobs and Community Service (JCS) in the Boston Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC)

X

 

X

 
Chicago, Illinois Mayor's Office of Workforce Development

X

 

X

 
Indiana (19-county area) River Valley Resources, Inc.

X

X

   
Fort Worth, Texas Tarrant County Workforce Development Board (a.k.a. Work Advantage)

X

X

   
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections for Region 3 (Milwaukee County)    

X

 
Nashville, Tennessee Nashville Career Advancement Center

X

 

X

 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Transitional Work Corporation, Phil@Work  

X

   
Phoenix, Arizona City of Phoenix Human Services Department, Employment and Training Division

X

 

X

 
West Virginia (29- county area) Human Resources Development Foundation  

X

   
Yakima, Washington Tri-Valley Private Industry Council

X

X

   
Baltimore County, Maryland; St. Lucie County, Florida; Long Beach, California Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Policy Studies, SCANS2000      

X

Source: Process Analysis site visits.

Even in sites where WtW is administered by non-WIB entities, there are many subcontractors. With the exception of the two rural study sites, WtW grantees rely on subcontracts with outside entities to provide direct services, either through distinct and separate

programs or as part of a grantee-designed program. This includes the JHU-CTS program, which contracts with six community colleges around the nation, three of which are included in the evaluation. In addition, in both Chicago and Fort Worth, the grantee agency funds distinct programs operated by service providers selected through a competitive bidding process. In other study sites, such as Boston, the grantee contracts with various service providers to implement a fairly standardized program model developed by the grantee agency, but with variations reflecting the service provider's expertise, characteristics of the participant groups, and the hiring and business practices of the employer partner.

In addition to contracting to operate entire programs, grantees often also issue contracts for special services or activities that are intended to support multiple WtW programs or offer services available to participants in any program. In Chicago, for example, participants from any WtW-funded program can obtain tax and financial counseling from one contractor--the Center for Law and Human Services--and establish Individual Development Accounts with another contractor--Shorebank, a community development bank.(11) Broader system-wide capacity development contracts operate in Fort Worth, where there are special contracts for developing licensed family day care providers, public marketing campaigns, a client tracking data system, and the Employment Project, which makes telephone voice mail available for WtW participants.

Many WtW grantees fund multiple programs, often operating in multiple locations. Grantees in the study sites rarely used WtW funds to operate one single program. Instead, there is a wide range of programmatic arrangements and usually multiple and independently operating contracted programs (Table II.3). The result is that across the 11 study sites, there are actually over 30 fairly distinct programs operating in over 90 separate locations or offices (Appendix A).

Among the study sites, only Philadelphia-TWC operates one single program in one central office. Many public and nonprofit agencies in Philadelphia are used extensively as work-site sponsors, and participants are referred to various agencies for special services, but the program itself is centrally operated and administered by TWC.

Other study grantees subcontract with other service providers to either deliver some services or specific components or to operate entirely separate programs. Both of the grantee agencies in Milwaukee and Phoenix developed a general program model and early services are provided to participants by in-house staff, with subcontractor organizations providing additional services. A different approach adopted by some grantees was to develop one standard program and implement it through the grantee agency's field office system. The program is overseen by the central agency, but operates in multiple locations, usually with some service delivery variations. In both the Indiana-RVR and West Virginia-HRDF grantee sites, for example, there are multiple local offices of the grantee agency that serve large geographic areas. The RVR WtW program operates through 19 county offices in Indiana, and the HRDF WtW program in West Virginia operates through six district offices that serve 29 counties in all.

Somewhat similarly, the JHU, Boston, and Nashville programs were designed by the grantee agency and then contractors were selected to operate the program. The JHU-CTS program, for example, was designed and centrally developed at JHU's SCANS2000 Center in Baltimore, but operates in eight communities around the country, where the program is administered by local community colleges under subcontract from JHU (three of the community college programs are

 

Table II.3
Study Grantees' Approaches to Structuring WtW Programs
Study Site/Grantee Standardized Program Standardized Program/ Multiple Locations Multiple Separate Programs Operated by Subcontractors
In-house Services, Single Location In-house Services and Subcontractor Services Field Offices Subcontractor Service Operators
Boston       X  
Chicago        

X

Fort Worth        

X

Indiana-RVR    

X

   
Milwaukee DOC  

X

     
Nashville      

X

 
Philadelphia-TWC

X

       
Phoenix  

X

     
West Virginia-HRDF    

X

   
Yakima        

X

JHU-CTS      

X

 
Source: Process Analysis site visits.

included in the evaluation). There are some operational variations when this subcontractor approach is used, reflecting provider refinements and adaptations. In Boston, for instance, the employer partnership programs "partner" one or more employers with a nonprofit service organization to provide occupation-specific employment services. The 11 contracted programs follow the same general parameters, but each is somewhat unique based on modifications made by the employer and CBO involved.

Finally, some grantees issued subcontracts to fund separate and distinct programs. Both the Chicago and Fort Worth workforce agencies, for example, fund multiple programs with their WtW competitive and formula funds. Each contractor designed their own programs and each program operates independently. There are 19 separate programs in Chicago and five in Fort Worth.

A significant feature of the WtW grant program is the extensive role of nonprofit, community-based organizations (CBOs) (Appendix A). Many of the WtW subcontractors in the study sites are nonprofit organizations. The primary way CBOs are involved is as direct program operators serving particular population groups, especially those often considered hard-to-employ. In Chicago, for example, all but two of the 19 separate and distinct program operators with WtW subcontracts from the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development are nonprofit organizations (the other two are for-profit companies), including some that specialize in services to persons with disabilities, or to the homeless, or to persons with limited English speaking skills. Similarly, the Fort Worth grantee, the Tarrant County Workforce Development Board, also funds five distinct programs with WtW grants, and all five are operated under subcontract by CBOs, including the Night Shelter and the Women's Center. In both of these study sites, the nonprofit organizations target their programs to particular population groups with special needs with which the CBOs have institutional experience.

A second way CBOs are involved is as case management specialists, drawing upon their institutional social services experience. For example, in Boston, the WIA agency uses formula grants to fund the 11 employer partnership programs. The employer partners help develop the employment preparation strategy, lead some instructional workshops and classes, and make a commitment to hire individuals who complete the program. The CBO partner provides case management services and personal counseling, leads workshops on family and personal issues, and provides long-term follow-up and post-employment services.

Nonprofit organizations have also developed consortia or collaboratives to operate WtW-funded programs. In Nashville, for example, three separate nonprofit collaboratives (ranging from two to five CBOs) have contracts to operate the WtW-funded Pathways Program. And in Yakima, a collaborative between the Opportunities Industrialization Corporation (OIC) and Youthbuild operates a special program with resources from WtW and AmeriCorps.

In addition, several of the grantee agencies in the 11 study sites are themselves nonprofit organizations. RVR in Indiana is the administrative entity for two WIBs, meaning it administers the formula grants, and also receives a competitive grant directly. HRDF is a major nonprofit service provider in rural West Virginia that has been operating for many years, and TWC in Philadelphia is a newly established nonprofit service organization.

Employers are key partners in many of the WtW programs in the study sites. Employer partnerships are the centerpiece of some of the programs in the study sites. Employers can play an important role in program design and service delivery as well as eventually hiring WtW participants. In some sites, employers are also directly involved in service delivery. For example, in Boston, over a dozen businesses, including banks, hotels, retail stores, and large health care providers, have partnered with nonprofit organizations to design and staff pre-employment preparation components. In Chicago, Pyramid Partnership specializes in providing employer-driven training, partnering with employers such as Hyatt-HMS-Host, TJX (which includes TJMaxx and Marshalls), Bank of America, TCF Bank, and House of Blues Hotel.

WtW grant programs and agencies often have operational roles in TANF, even though they do not have formal admistrative responsibility for TANF. In the study sites, most of the WtW grant agencies typically had extensive formal interaction with TANF agencies and TANF work programs even prior to WtW. Specifically, the workforce agencies, even before WtW, have been involved in TANF work programs (and formerly the AFDC-JOBS program) (Table II.4). Many TANF agencies, usually at the state level, contract out all or part of their TANF work program. WIBs, like JTPA agencies before WIA, are major contractors in many states. In some of the study sites, such as Nashville, Phoenix, and Fort Worth, the workforce agency has a contract from the TANF agency to operate the TANF work program, meaning that TANF cash assistance recipients, particularly those subject to a work requirement, are enrolled in the TANF work program operated by the WIB. RVR in Indiana, which is the administrative entity for two WIBs, is also the TANF work program in some, but not all, counties in which it has offices. In study sites where the grantee is also the TANF work program operator, there is a close service delivery connection between TANF work and WtW programs because both are operated by the WIB.

Even in the study sites where the grantee agency has no formal pre-existing TANF role, there are interagency arrangements between the two agencies specifically for WtW, and the WtW grantee often has other indirect links to TANF. In Yakima and Chicago, for example, while the

 

Table II.4
Role of WtW Grantee Agency in Tanf Program, by Study Site
Study Site WtW Grantee Agency WtW Grantee Agency (as WIB) Also Administers the TANF Work Program WtW Grantee Agency is also a TANF Work Program Service Contractor WtW Grantee Agency has no Formal TANF Responsibility, but Interagency Agreements for WtW and Indirect Links Exist
Boston, Massachusetts Office of Jobs and Community Service (JCS) in the Boston Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC)   X  
Chicago, Illinois Mayor's Office of Workforce Development    

X

Fort Worth, Texas Tarrant County Workforce Development Board (a.k.a. Work Advantage)

X

   
Indiana (19-county area) River Valley Resources, Inc.  

X (8 counties)

X (11 counties)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections for Region 3    

X

Nashville, Tennessee Nashville Career Advancement Center  

X

 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation and Transitional Work Corp., Phil@Work Program  

X (PWDC)

X (TWC)

Phoenix, Arizona City of Phoenix Human Services Department, Employment and Training Division

X

   
West Virginia (29-county area) Human Resources Development Foundation  

X

 
Yakima, Washington Tri-Valley Private Industry Council    

X

Baltimore County MD, St. Lucie County FL, Long Beach, CA Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Policy Studies, SCANS2000; with Community College of Baltimore County (MD), Indian River Community College (FL); Long Beach Community College (CA)

X (FL)

X (MD, CA)

 
Source: Process Analysis site visits.

WIB/WtW grantees have no formal contract from TANF, mainly because they do not provide direct services, many of the service providers in the community have contracts from both the WIB and TANF, meaning that some programs blend funds from TANF, WtW, WIA, and other sources (such as the Wagner-Peyser Act which funds the Employment Service).

Similarly, in Milwaukee DOC and West Virginia-HRDF, while there is no formal role for the WtW grantee agency in TANF, both have interagency arrangements for implementing WtW and interact operationally with TANF. HRDF had previously been a JOBS contractor in large parts of West Virginia, and even though it is not currently a TANF work program contractor, staff from the two agencies maintain close working relationships. In Milwaukee, the DOC grant-funded program contracts with the Wisconsin Works (W-2) agencies, the primary organization in the state's welfare program.

View full report

Preview
Download

"report.pdf" (pdf, 474.38Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®