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

09/01/2004

All of the grantees in the evaluation study sites emphasized employment, but none provided job search assistance or job readiness skills alone (Chapter III presents additional information on services provided). They typically offered a range of services to help enrollees prepare for and move into the labor market, with some variation in the priority given to moving participants quickly into employment versus providing skills development, and in the emphasis on post-employment services. Several WtW grantees in the study sites, however, stood out for their innovative approaches:

  • Philadelphia: Temporary Subsidized Employment. The Transitional Work Corporations Phil@Work program was one of a constellation of programs available to WtW-eligible persons in Philadelphia; the evaluation focused on Phil@Work because of its use of subsidized employment on a large scale.(16) The program featured a two-week job readiness class, followed by paid work experience in a government agency or nonprofit organization for up to six months. Once participants were deemed job-ready, they were placed in unsubsidized employment.
  • Nashville: A Pathways Program. The Pathways case management system, developed by Project Match in Chicago, encourages WtW participants to take small steps toward employment with close coaching and support, monthly peer support meetings, individual self-assessment, and ongoing reassessment of progress.(17) A waiver allowed Pathways participants in Nashville to count family-related tasks and volunteer activities toward the 40-hour-per-week work requirement for TANF recipients in Tennessee.
  • Boston: Employer Partnerships. The WtW grantee in Boston established employer partnership programs to prepare TANF recipients for entry-level jobs. The programs linked one or more employers with a nonprofit service organization to provide occupation-specific pre-employment preparation and internships. Participating employers had to commit to hiring those who completed the program.
  • Johns Hopkins University: Career Transcript System. The JHU programs in Baltimore County, Long Beach, and St. Lucie County emphasized post-employment skills assessment and improvement. Workplace liaisons worked with the WtW participants and their supervisors to help them retain their jobs and ultimately identify and move up a career ladder.

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