Performance Improvement 2008. Do Minnesota Employment Retention and Advancement Program Participants Hold Jobs Longer or Advance in Those Jobs?


This study examined interim results for the Minnesota Employment Retention and Advancement Tier 2 program, which built on the State's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Tier 1 program which served welfare recipients who had not found jobs through standard welfare-to-work services. The program sought to test whether providing enhanced services to a hard-to-employ population would result in increased employment and retention. In addition to those services provided in the Tier 1 program, Tier 2 provided: (1) smaller caseloads for program staff to facilitate more attention to the unique circumstances of individuals and their families; (2) a more in-depth assessment of new cases, covering a wide range of issues facing clients and their families; and (3) a greater emphasis on assigning and referring individuals to a broader range of services, including supported employment positions and more specialized services, such as those available from programs that help people with mental health or substance-related problems. The evaluation used a random assignment design to assess the effectiveness of the Tier 2 program compared to the Tier 1 program.

The program had little effect on employment or earnings over the one and a half years of follow-up. An early increase in employment did not persist. The Tier 2 program led to a modest increase in employment for those with recent work experience, although the effects faded after the first year. The Tier 2 program had no added effect on public assistance receipt over the follow-up period as a whole. Many families left welfare on their own over time.

Report Title: The Employment Retention and Advancement Project: Results from Minnesota's Tier 2 Program, Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact:
Timothy Baker, 202-260-6165

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