The Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Enrollee Outcomes One Year After Program Entry. Purpose of this Report

02/01/2004

The purpose of this report is to describe the characteristics and subsequent experiences of individuals who enrolled in programs funded by the WtW grants. It documents the characteristics of WtW participants at the time of enrollment and their outcomes over the course of the following year. Future reports on the outcomes analysis will extend the description to include the second post-enrollment year.

Four research questions guided the outcomes analysis and provide the structure for this report. In Chapter II, data from the background information form and state Unemployment Insurance administrative systems are used to answer the question, "Who enrolled in WtW?" In each of the next three chapters, data from the 12-month follow-up survey are used to answer a question regarding the post-enrollment experiences and outcomes of WtW participants. Chapter III answers the question, "What services did WtW enrollees receive?" Chapter IV presents findings pertaining to the key question, "Did WtW enrollees achieve success in the labor market?" Finally, Chapter V answers the question, "How were WtW enrollees faring one year after entering the program?" The answers to these four research questions provide the basis for our conclusions regarding the WtW program, which are presented in Chapter IV.

There will be two additional reports on the WtW outcomes analysis. The next report will be based on data from state administrative files for Unemployment Insurance, TANF, and other assistance programs for the period beginning one year prior to enrollment and ending two years after enrollment. The report will describe time patterns of employment, earnings, and participation in assistance programs by WtW enrollees. The final report on the outcomes analysis will use data from the 24-month follow-up survey, in conjunction with data from the 12-month follow-up survey, to provide comprehensive descriptions of employment patterns over the full two years following WtW enrollment and the well-being of participants and their families at the end of that period.

 

Exhibit I.1
Study Sites for the Analysis of Welfare-to-work Enrollee Outcomes
Study Site Grantee Type of Organization Enrollmenta Fundingb (millions) Distinctive Features of Program Design
Baltimore Co., MD Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Policy Studies Nonprofit Educ. Inst. 350c $5c Workplace liaisons work with employed individuals and their employers to promote retention and help participants move up a career ladder.
Boston, MA Office of Jobs and Community Services, Boston Econ. Dev. and Industrial Corp. Public agency
WIB
900 $11.3 Partnership programs: employers select participants and collaborate with nonprofit partners on employability and skill training.
Chicago, IL Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (MOWD) Public agency
WIB
8,900 $60 MOWD contracts with 26 agencies for case management, training, and support services.
Ft. Worth, TX Tarrant County Workforce Development Board (a.k.a. Work Advantage) Nonprofit
WIB
350 $7.2 Work Advantage contracts with about 10 community-based organizations for rapid work attachment services.
Milwaukee, WI WI Dept. of Corrections, Div. of Comm. Corrections, Region 3 (Milwaukee Co.) State agency 850 $2 Nontraditional Opportunities for Work (NOW) serves male noncustodial parents on probation or parole. Wisconsin Works (Wisconsin's TANF program) contractors provide employability and job retention services.
Nashville, TN Nashville Career Advancement Center (NCAC) Public agency
WIB
600 $4.2 The Pathways Case Management System entails monthly peer meetings to plan steps to employment, and intensive case management and problem-solving support.
Philadelphia, PA Transitional Work Corporation (TWC) Nonprofit
corporation
7,500 $22.4 Two weeks of job readiness class, followed by six months in a subsidized gov't. or nonprofit job, before placement in unsubsidized employment.
Phnix, AZ City of Phoenix Human Services Dept., Employment and Training Division Public agency
WIB
750 $5.95 Three weeks of pre-employment preparation, followed by job placement and retention support from career specialists.
St. Lucie Co., FL Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Policy Studies Nonprofit Educ. Inst. 350c $5c Workplace liaisons work with employed individuals and their employers to promote retention and help participants move up a career ladder.
West Virginia (29 counties) Human Resources Development Foundation (HRDF) Nonprofit foundation 650 $4.9 Four-week job readiness workshop, followed by graduated-stress supported work experience over six-month period, with skills training where possible.
Yakima, WA Tri-Valley Workforce Development Council Nonprofit WIB 800 $6.4 Individualized case management, job search assistance, job placement, subsidized work placement, and supportive services.
 

Endnotes

1.  Public Law 105-33, section 5001, August 5, 1997.

2.  ublic Law 104-193, section 103, August 22, 1996.

3.  Public Law 106-113, Title VIII, sections 801-807, November 29, 1999.

4.  The Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor wrote the final rule for the WtW grants program. They were published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2001, and include on page 2712 the objectives for the program that are cited here.

5.  Competitive grants were distributed based on applications to DOL, whereas formula-based grants were allocated to states according to a formula based on each state's share of the poverty population and number of adults on welfare.

6.  After bottoming out at 2,006,155 families in July 2002, the U.S. total TANF caseload increased to 2,039,917 families in March 2003, which was the most recent month for which caseload statistics were available at the time this report was being written (DHHS 2003).

7.  Public Law 106-113, Title VIII, sections 801-807, November 29, 1999.

8.  Under an experimental evaluation design, members of the control group in a study site would have received minimal services or no services and, thus, would have contributed little or nothing toward the achievement of the enrollment goals of service providers in that site.

9.  Appendix C provides details on how the surveys were conducted and data were processed. This appendix is not included in this volume, but is available on the MPR website: www.mathematica-mpr.com.

10.  The grantees (and the WIBs that were subgrantees) typically did not directly provide services to WtW enrollees; rather, they subcontracted the provision of services to one or more for-profit or not-for-profit organizations in each site.

11.  Nightingale et al. (2002), Appendix D, provides a detailed description of each of the study sites.

12.  The study sites for the outcomes analysis are the same as for this evaluation's implementation study, with two exceptions: (1) A site in Southeastern Indiana was included in the implementation study but not in the outcomes analysis; and (2) Johns Hopkins University and the multiple locations where it administered WtW services constituted a single site in the implementation study, but its Baltimore County, Maryland, and St. Lucie County, Florida, operations were treated as two distinct study sites in the outcomes analysis.

 

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