Understanding the Costs of the DOL Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. Variation in Total Costs


Estimates of total costs help convey the overall scale and scope of a program's operations. In comparisons of different programs, exploring scale is important because it can reveal important differences in their aims or operations.

Our cost estimates reflect the significant amount of resources that was invested in the WtW initiative. On an aggregate basis, operating for one year the 18 WtW programs included in the analysis cost an estimated $22.6 million. Nevertheless, total costs per program for one year of WtW operations varied widely, ranging from just over $200,000 to more than $7 million (for Philadelphia-TWC, not shown in Figure III.1). The WtW programs also varied in their total

Figure III.1
Total Wtw Program Costs, by Total Participation

Figure III.1 Total Wtw Program Costs, by Total Participation

participation, ranging from just under 100 to more than 2,000 (for Philadelphia-TWC, not shown in Figure III.1) individuals ever active during the programs' cost analysis years.

Much of this variation was by design and reflected the diverse organizational context of the WtW programs. For example, the WtW programs operated by Maximus, E&ES, and Catholic Charities in Chicago, Philadelphia-TWC, and Phoenix-EARN all served large metropolitan areas and were developed specifically to help large numbers of WtW-eligible individuals move into employment. In contrast, the smaller WtW programs--for example, those in Boston and Fort Worth--tended to be part of larger-scale WtW initiatives that involved multiple providers, each offering tailored services to a relatively small number of WtW-eligible participants.

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