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

09/01/2004

The WtW programs in the study sites primarily served current or former TANF recipients, as intended in the authorizing legislation, the BBA of 1997 (amended in 1999). The overwhelming majority of study site enrollees were unmarried African-American women under 40 years old (Exhibit II.2). In Nashville, for example, virtually all WtW enrollees were female, 87 percent were black and non-Hispanic, 88 percent were under 40 years of age, and only 3 percent were married. There were exceptions to this pattern, however. Milwaukees NOW program, which served noncustodial parents, had a clientele that was 95 percent male. In the three primarily rural sites  West Virginia, St. Lucie County, and Yakima  enrollees were less likely than their counterparts in the urban sites to be women or African-American. In Boston and Ft. Worth, more than one enrollee in four was Hispanic. In contrast, only 8 percent of WtW enrollees in St. Lucie County were Hispanic, despite a large Hispanic presence in Florida.

The WtW grants program was designed to focus in particular on TANF recipients and other adults at risk for long-term dependency on public assistance. This section describes the individuals who enrolled in WtW in the 11 study sites that participated in the outcomes analysis, based on their characteristics at the time they entered the program. Enrollees are described in terms of their labor market assets and liabilities, previous involvement in the welfare system, and employment history. These characteristics were obtained from the evaluations baseline information forms (BIFs) completed by enrollees when they entered the program, state records containing employer-reported data on earnings for jobs covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI), and state records on the receipt of welfare benefits and food stamps.(18)

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