National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Final Report. Services Received

09/01/2004

Given the diversity of program models, it is not surprising that the services enrollees received varied greatly among the study sites. The following conclusions are based on enrollee reports, rather than on the designs of the programs in which they were enrolled.

WtW enrollees were much more likely to receive employment preparation services than skill enhancement services. Consistent with the legislation that authorized the WtW grants program, more than two-thirds of enrollees in each of the study sites received services that were designed to prepare them for and move them into employment. However, there was considerable variability across the sites in the types and duration of these services. Only in the three sites that adopted either a post-employment model (Baltimore County and St. Lucie County) or rehabilitative model (Milwaukee), did more than one-third of enrollees receive services that were designed to enhance their skills so that they could qualify for better jobs.

The employment preparation services that enrollees received were more consistent with rapid job entry in some sites than in others. WtW enrollees in the Phoenix and Yakima sites, which followed an employment model, received employment preparation services that were highly consistent with a rapid transition to employment  primarily brief job readiness training followed by job search assistance. In contrast, enrollees in sites that followed a pre-employment model (Boston, Nashville, Philadelphia, and West Virginia) typically received extended job readiness training  or, in Nashville, education and training  followed by job search assistance. The average amount of time before enrollees became employed was generally lower for the former group of sites than the latter.

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