Implementation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. A. General Program Models

08/01/2002

Examining the service delivery features and how administrators and staff describe their programs reveals that there are three general service delivery models that describe the primary approaches, or philosophies, operating in the WtW-funded programs in the study sites (Table V.1):

  1. Enhanced Direct Employment Models, where the emphasis is on providing participants with individualized support and counseling pre-employment, and usually providing post-employment services for a year or more.
  2. Developmental/Transitional Employment Models, where the program design emphasizes skills development, often along with transitional or subsidized employment.
  3. Intensive Post-Employment Skills Development Models, where the primary objective is to improve both job retention and specific occupational skills through a program design that works primarily with individuals after they start a job.

 

Table V.1
Program Service Models Operating in the WtW Study Sites
Study Site Enhanced Direct Employment Model Developmental/ Transitional Employment Model Post-Employment Skills Development Model
Boston-Employer Sponsored Programs and Enhanced Community Service  

X

 
Chicago-Immediate Job Placement Programs

X

   
Chicago-Temporary Employment Programs

X

   
Chicago-Business and Industry Partnerships  

X

 
Chicago-Supportive Work/Paid Work Experience Programs  

X

 
Fort Worth WtW Program

X

   
Indiana-RVR WtW Program

X

   
Milwaukee-Dept. of Corrections, Nontraditional Opportunities for Work (NOW) Program

X

   
Nashville Works/Pathways Program  

X

 
Philadelphia-TWC Phil@Work  

X

 
Phoenix EARN Program

X

   
West Virginia-HRDF WtW

X

   
Yakima, WA, WtW Program

X

   
Yakima, WA, SHARE Program

X

   
Yakima OIC/Youthbuild/ Americorps Program  

X

 
JHU-SCANS 2000-CTS Program (Baltimore, St. Lucie FL, and Long Beach, CA)    

X

 

One of the more striking operational observations in the study sites is that, while all of the WtW-funded study programs developed service delivery strategies that emphasized employment--even rapid employment in some places--none of the study sites provide just job search assistance or job-readiness skills alone. There is, though, substantial variation across programs in the degree to which they place priority on moving individuals quickly into employment versus providing more skills development or subsidized or transitional employment. There is also variation in the extent to which grantees emphasize post-employment services, although only one program included in this study--the JHU-CTS program--focuses primarily on post-employment services. Excluding JHU, about half of the study programs have what are referred to here as Direct Employment Models and half have Developmental or Transitional Employment Models.

Enhanced Direct Employment Models maintain a primary focus on moving individual participants into employment as soon as possible, usually after a short (e.g., one to three weeks) pre-employment job readiness component. Administrators and staff explain that their top priority is to place individuals into either unsubsidized employment as soon as possible, or into transitional or subsidized employment as soon as possible (often as an alternative when work opportunities in a community are limited). This immediate employment goal, though, is accompanied by individualized counseling and support, social services, and extended follow-up services post-employment, including education in some cases. Sites in the evaluation that implemented an enhanced direct employment model are:

  • Chicago Immediate Job Placement Programs (operated by Hull House, Spanish Coalition, Asian Human Services, Inner Voice, MAXIMUS, Employment and Employer Services, and Dynamic Educational Services, Inc.) and Temporary Employment Programs (operated by Suburban Job Link)
  • Fort Worth WtW
  • Indiana-RVR WtW
  • Milwaukee-Department of Corrections, Nontraditional Opportunities for Work (NOW) Program
  • Phoenix EARN Program
  • West Virginia-HRDF
  • Yakima-WtW
  • Yakima-SHARE

Developmental/Transitional Employment Models provide services designed to gradually and systematically improve individual participants' employability while also addressing their family service and other needs. The objective is to ultimately (not immediately) obtain unsubsidized employment, followed by ongoing post-employment supports and services, including education and skills development in some cases. In these types of programs, however, it is expected that participants will first generally engage in an intermediate activity before entering a regular job. The intermediate activity is intended to improve work or basic skills, or address specific work-related problems. Various intermediate activities are incorporated into the study sites which have developmental or transitional models, including paid work experience and internships, workplace-based employer partnerships, temporary jobs, peer support groups, and sheltered workshops. Study sites that implemented Developmental/Transitional Employment models are:

  • Boston Employer Sponsored Programs and Enhanced Community Service Programs
  • Chicago Supportive Work/Paid Work Experience Programs (operated by Catholic Charities, Chicago Commons, Greater West Town, Operation ABLE, Bethel, Easter Seals, and Chicago Connections) and Business and Industry Partnerships (operated by Pyramid Partnership, Sinai Community Institute, and First Chicago/Bank One)
  • Nashville Works/ Pathways Program
  • Philadelphia-TWC Phil@Work Program

Post-Employment Skills Development Models provide services and support primarily only after a participant starts a job. The post-employment model is distinguished from other models in which some post-employment services might be provided (e.g., to improve job retention), but where the primary service approach emphasizes pre-employment activities. Post-employment skills development programs might provide education and skills training, workplace-based services, mentoring/coaching on the job, employer liaisons, and career development services. Only one study site, Johns Hopkins University-SCANS 2000-Career Transcript System (Baltimore MD, St. Lucie FL, Long Beach CA) implemented this model. Each of the three programs is unique, adapting aspects of the JHU-designed CTS model, curriculum, and material. While all three primarily emphasize post-employment services, each also provided some pre-employment services, such as job placement assistance and job counseling to some individuals who were not working. All three, however, maintain as their primary objective a focus on improving skills of individuals once they have started working, with most activities provided at the workplace and involving supervisors as well as the participating worker.

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