The Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Enrollee Outcomes One Year After Program Entry. Did Enrollees Receive Skill Enhancement Services?


WtW enrollees in the 11 study sites were only about half as likely to receive skill enhancement services during the year following enrollment in WtW as they were to receive the employment preparation services discussed in the previous section. Rates of participation in education and training ranged from 24 to 47 percent across the study sites (Exhibit III.4). Only in three sites did participation rates exceed 40 percent: Baltimore County, Nashville, and St. Lucie County. This is consistent with the focus of the programs operating in these sites. In Baltimore and St. Lucie counties, the JHU program aims to help already-employed participants move into better jobs. The Nashville program emphasizes human development and operates under Tennessee's federal TANF waiver that expanded the allowable services to permit a broader set of activities to satisfy work requirements.

The WtW enrollees who received skill enhancement services almost always received them in conjunction with employment preparation services, rather than by themselves. The Boston study site typifies this pattern; about nine of every ten enrollees in that site who received skill enhancement services also received employment preparation services (Appendix Exhibit B.27). This ratio was lowest in Baltimore County, but even there, three-fourths of recipients of skill enhancement services also received employment preparation services. In contrast, WtW enrollees typically received employment preparation services by themselves. Only between one-fourth and one-half of recipients of employment preparation services also received skill enhancement services. Thus, while skill enhancement services were rarely received on a stand-alone basis, employment preparation services usually were.

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