The Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Enrollee Outcomes One Year After Program Entry. A Classification of WtW Programs, Based on Services Actually Received by Enrollees

02/01/2004

This evaluation's implementation report (Nightingale et al. 2002) uses three program models to classify the study sites, based on the key service-delivery features and on those aspects of the programs that administrators and staff highlighted as being their most prominent or defining features.(31) We thought it would be useful to provide in this outcomes report an alternative classification of the study sites based on the self-reports of services received by the WtW enrollees and then compare the results of the two classification schemes. Using the enrollee reports, our five-way classification of the 11 study sites is as follows:

  • Rapid Job Entry (Phoenix and Yakima). WtW enrollees in these sites had high rates of receipt of short-duration job readiness training. They also had high rates of receipt of job placement services. Relatively low or moderate proportions of enrollees received other employment preparation services and skill enhancement services. Overall, the services received by enrollees in these sites appear to have been limited to those necessary to move them quickly into jobs.
  • Extensive Pre-Employment Services (Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia, and West Virginia). WtW enrollees in these five sites had high rates of receipt of job placement services, but they tended to receive those services after several months of job readiness training or, in Nashville, participation in education and training programs.(32)
  • Rehabilitative (Milwaukee). Enrollees in Milwaukee NOW program received a unique mix of ancillary employment preparation services that were chosen to facilitate reentry into society and employment by persons who have been incarcerated or are on parole. The service mix includes relatively high rates of counseling, participation in peer support groups, legal assistance, and substance abuse treatment.
  • Career Advancement (Baltimore County and St. Lucie County). These sites implemented the JHU service model, designed to assist employed individuals retain jobs and advance in their careers. Accordingly, relatively few WtW enrollees in Baltimore County and St. Lucie County received job search/placement services or job readiness training. Counseling and mediation services were common in these sites, as was participation in advanced education and training programs.
  • Minimal Services (Ft. Worth). The Ft. Worth site stands out in terms of enrollees' low rates of receipt of any services and the brevity of those services they did receive. While this could indicate that enrollees had little need for services, the next chapter documents that this was not the case: Ft. Worth is among the three study sites with the lowest percentage of enrollees who obtained jobs and the longest duration until employment for those who found jobs.

While somewhat subjective, our sense is that the program category Rapid Job Entry, based on enrollee reports, maps into the Enhanced Direct Employment (EDE) program model. The shaded cell in the top left of Exhibit III.8 designates this mapping. In a similar fashion, the Extensive Pre-Employment Services and Rehabilitative program categories map into the Developmental/Transitional Employment (DTE) model, as indicated by the two shaded cells in the middle of the exhibit. The Career Advancement program category maps cleanly into the Intensive Post-Employment Skills Development (IPESD) model, as indicated by the shaded cell in the lower right of Exhibit III.8. The Minimal Services program category is not consistent with any of the three program models.

The program classification based on enrollee reports is consistent with the program model based on administrator and staff reports for 8 of the 11 study sites. The three sites for which these are inconsistent are West Virginia, Milwaukee, and Ft. Worth. The lengthy job readiness training received by enrollees in West Virginia, combined with their protracted time until the first job, led us to classify this as an Extensive Pre-Employment Services site, which is consistent with the DTE model rather than EDE model. Low rates of receipt of job readiness training and job placement services by WtW enrollees in Milwaukee, combined with their high rates of receipt of ancillary employment preparation services, led us to classify this as a Rehabilitative site, which is consistent with the DTE model rather than the EDE model. Finally, low rates of receipt of any services by enrollees in Ft. Worth, combined with relatively poor employment outcomes, led us to classify this site as Minimal Services  a classification that is not consistent with any of the three program models.(33)

Exhibit III.1
Percentage of WtW Enrollees Who Received Any Employment Preparation Services
During the Year after Program Entry

Percentage of WtW Enrollees Who Received Any Employment Preparation Services  During the Year after Program Entry

Exhibit III.2
Percentages of WtW Enrollees Who Received Specific Types of Employment Preparation Services
During the Year after Program Entry

Percentages of WtW Enrollees Who Received Specific Types of Employment Preparation Services

Percentages of WtW Enrollees Who Received Specific Types of Employment Preparation Services
 

Exhibit III.3
Duration of Employment Preparation Services Received
by WtW Enrollees During the Year after Program Entry
(Median days of receipt by rnrollees who received services)

Duration of Employment Preparation Services Received by WtW Enrollees During the Year after Program Entry

Duration of Employment Preparation Services Received by WtW Enrollees During the Year after Program Entry

Exhibit III.4
Percentage of WtW Enrollees Who Received Any Skill Enhancement Services (Education and Training)
During the Year after Program Entry

Percentage of WtW Enrollees Who Received Any Skill Enhancement Services (Education and Training) During the Year after Program Entry

Exhibit III.5
Percentages of WtW Enrollees Who Received Specific Types of Skill Enhancement Services
During the Year after Program Entry

Percentages of WtW Enrollees Who Received Specific Types of Skill Enhancement Services During the Year after Program Entry

Exhibit III.6
Duration and Intensity of Skill Enhancement Services Received
by WtW Enrollees During the Year after Program Entry

Duration and Intensity of Skill Enhancement Services Received by WtW Enrollees During the Year after Program Entry

Exhibit III.7
Percentages of WtW Enrollees for Whom the Receipt of Skill Enhancement Services
Commenced on or Following Initial Employment

Percentages of WtW Enrollees for Whom the Receipt of Skill Enhancement Services Commenced on or Following Initial Employment

Percentages of WtW Enrollees for Whom the Receipt of Skill Enhancement Services Commenced on or Following Initial Employment

Exhibit III.8
Cross-classification of WtW Programs by Enrollee Reports and by Administrator and Staff Reports
Program Classification
(based on enrollee reports of services received)
Program Model
(based on administrator and staff reports of key program features)
Enhanced Direct Employment Developmental/ Transitional Employment Intensive Post-Employment Skills Development
Rapid Job Entry Phoenix, Yakima    
Extensive Pre-Employment Services West Virginia Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia  
Rehabilitative Milwaukee    
Career Advancement     Baltimore Co., St. Lucie Co.
Minimal Services Ft. Worth    
Note: Shaded cells indicate consistency between the program classification based on enrollee reports and the program model based on administrator and staff reports. Study sites whose names appear outside of the shaded cells (West Virginia, Milwaukee, and Ft. Worth) are ones where the program classification based on enrollee reports and the program model based on administrator/staff reports appear to be inconsistent.

Endnotes

20.  The National Governor's Association reported that twenty-eight states submitted TANF plans to DHHS which indicate that they require at least some recipients to work before the end of the twenty-fourth month on assistance (NGA 1999).

21.  The interim rule for the WtW grants states that, "Activities conducted with WtW funds must be grounded in the 'work first' philosophy which is a fundamental tenet of the Act (PRWORA). Although a variety of activities are authorized under WtW, these activities should be viewed as employment-based developmental steps for helping individuals secure and retain unsubsidized employment." (DOL 1997, pages 61593-61594)

22.  DOL (1997, page 61594) states, "While the legislation (PL 105-33, 1997) does not permit stand-alone training activities independent of a job, allowing them as post-employment activities only while the participant is working in a subsidized or unsubsidized job reflects the basic 'work first' thrust of the legislation."

23.  Public Law 106-113 (1999).

24.  The evaluation's 12-month follow-up survey inquired about the receipt of each of ten services: (1) job readiness training, (2) job search or placement, (3) life-skills classes, (4) mental health services, (5) substance abuse treatment, (6) medical attention to correct a work-limiting physical condition, (7) legal assistance, (8) counseling, (9) peer support/discussion group, and (10) mediation services. Longer-run education and training programs are not included in this discussion of services, but rather are addressed in Section B.

25.  Referral to education and training programs is also a distinctive feature of the JHU program design. Evidence presented later in this chapter documents that WtW enrollees in Baltimore County and St. Lucie County were more likely to have participated in education and training programs than enrollees in most of the other study sites.

26.  Among the 11 study sites, Ft. Worth had the lowest rate of receipt of any employment preparation services by WtW enrollees (Exhibit III.1). It is also last or next-to-last among the sites in the duration of core employment preparation services  job readiness training and job search/placement services  by enrollees who received those services (Exhibit III.3). Chapter IV presents evidence that employment outcomes for WtW enrollees in Ft. Worth were relatively poor. Ft. Worth is among the three study sites with the lowest percentage of enrollees who were employed at any time during the year following enrollment (Exhibit IV.1) and among the three sites with the longest elapsed time until the first post-enrollment job (Exhibit IV.2).

27.  In the evaluation's 12-month follow-up survey, enrollees who reported having received a specific employment preparation service were asked whether it had been useful to them. Their responses of 1 (not useful at all), 2 (somewhat useful), and 3 (very useful) were incorporated in an index of the usefulness of each service.

28.  The 12-month follow-up survey gathered information on participation in the following advanced education and training programs: vocational or technical training, occupational skills training, and college programs.

29.  In its interim rule on WtW, DOL (1997, page 61549) states that, "The regulations . . . encourage the use of training interventions only after an individual begins to work to help participants retain their jobs and move toward self-sufficiency."

30.  This interpretation of the intent of federal policymakers is consistent with DOL's final rule for the WtW grants program (DOL 2001, page 2715, Sect. 645.220, paragraphs b and e).

31.  On page 67, Nightingale et al. (2002) identify three WtW program models based on service delivery features and on administrator and staff descriptions of their programs: (1) Enhanced Direct Employment, with an emphasis on providing individualized support and counseling prior to employment, job placement services, and post employment services; (2) Developmental/Transitional Employment, with an emphasis on skills development, transitional or subsidized employment, and job placement; (3) Intensive Post-Employment Skills Development, with a primary objective of improving job retention and specific occupational skills for employed individuals.

32.  The West Virginia site does not fit cleanly into the extensive pre-employment services category on the basis of the pattern of service receipt alone. The median duration of job readiness training for WtW enrollees in this study site, 24 days (Exhibit III.3), exceeds the median durations for the rapid job entry sites but is less than those in Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Our decision to classify the West Virginia site in the extensive pre-employment services category was influenced by the finding, discussed in Chapter IV, that the mean duration until the first job was markedly high for enrollees in this site (refer to Exhibit IV.2).

33.  Possible explanations for the three sites that are flagged as inconsistencies between the two classification schemes include: (1) deviation of a program as initially implemented from the program design; (2) evolution of a program between the time when data were collected for the evaluation's process study and the fielding period for the 12-month follow-up survey of enrollees; (3) subjective factors underlying the interpretation of data by the two largely different research teams for the implementation study and the outcomes study.

 

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