Ohio

Highlights from the Jobs Plus Pilot Program Evaluation

September, 2017

Jobs Plus promotes employment among public housing residents through employment services, rent rule changes that provide incentives to work, and community support for work. Within the first 18 months, all nine public housing agencies in this evaluation had begun structuring their programs, building partnerships, and implementing the model’s core components.

December, 2016

As the first major effort to use a behavioral economics lens to examine human services programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in the United States, the BIAS project demonstrated the value of applying behavioral insights to improve the efficacy of human services programs.

Which Improves Welfare Recipients’ Earnings More in the Long Term?

October, 2016

Findings after 10-15 years from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies suggest that while initially stressing job search for participants led to greater earnings in the short term than did initially stressing education and training, neither approach produced substantial effects past the five-year follow-up period.

Lessons for Practitioners

October, 2016

The demonstration of WorkAdvance confirmed that sectoral employment programs can increase employment and earnings among low-income individuals. This brief offers insights from providers on selecting sectors, tailoring training to employer needs, reducing attrition, securing placements that offer better wages and benefits, and helping workers plan for advancement.

October, 2016

WorkAdvance connects low-income job seekers to high-demand sectors that offer quality jobs with strong career pathways. This infographic describes the program model and its implementation in four locations and presents encouraging evidence of WorkAdvance’s effects on boosting earnings.

Early Findings from a Demonstration in Three Community Colleges

September, 2016

CUNY ASAP has proved exceptionally effective at increasing community college graduation rates. This demonstration tests the viability and effects of programs modeled on ASAP in different types of colleges, including those serving many nontraditional students. Early findings show increases in full-time enrollment, credits earned, and persistence into the second semester.

Two-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance Demonstration

August, 2016

WorkAdvance provides demand-driven skills training and a focus on jobs with career pathways. As detailed in this full report, all four programs studied greatly increased training completion and credential acquisition. Employment outcomes varied by site, with large, consistent impacts at the most experienced provider and promising results at two others.

August, 2016

Jobs-Plus – a “place-based,” workforce-development model proven to help public housing residents find employment – is about to be replicated across the country. This infographics depicts the program model,  its effects on earnings, and the history of its development over the past 20 years.

A Preview Summary of Two-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance Demonstration

June, 2016

WorkAdvance provides demand-driven skills training and a focus on jobs with career pathways. This preview summary finds that all four programs studied greatly increased training completion and credential acquisition. Employment outcomes varied by site, with large, consistent impacts at the most experienced provider and promising results at two others.

Interim Impact Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Evaluation of Diplomas Now

June, 2016

The Diplomas Now whole-school reform model, including targeted interventions for students at risk of dropping out, had an impact on the percentage of students with no early warning indicators related to attendance, behavior, or course performance, and had more encouraging results in middle schools than high schools.

Building a Body of Evidence

April, 2016

Over the past several years, MDRC has worked with the federal Administration for Children and Families to test low-cost behavioral interventions to improve child support services in a number of states. This issue focus describes what’s been learned so far — and what’s planned for the future.

Applying Behavioral Insights to Increase Collections

February, 2016

Findings from tests in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, demonstrate that low-cost, low-effort behavioral interventions can improve child support payment outcomes. These tests are part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Final Report on the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration

November, 2015

Performance-based scholarships are designed to give students more money for college and to provide incentives for academic progress. This report analyzes data from rigorous evaluations of six different programs, in six states, with more than 12,000 students. The scholarship programs improved academic progress, including modest effects on degree completion.

Early Lessons from Completion by Design

September, 2015

Only about 20 percent of full-time degree-seeking students entering public two-year schools earn a degree within three years. In seeking solutions, community colleges typically focus on one institutional problem at a time. This brief looks at the experiences of five community colleges attempting a systemwide reform to substantially increase completion rates.

Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Child Support Payments

July, 2015

A low-cost behavioral intervention produced a modest increase in the number of parents in Franklin County, Ohio, who made at least one child support payment over four months. This test is part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Two-Year Impact Report

May, 2015

RExO increased the number and types of services received by participants and improved their self-reported labor market outcomes as well. But there is little evidence it had any impacts on recidivism or other outcomes. Further, the impacts on employment, while statistically significant, are quite small in practical terms.

Changing School Practices During the Second Year of Diplomas Now

May, 2015

Diplomas Now, a partnership of three national organizations, aims to increase graduation rates in high-risk schools, targeting support to students who need it most. This second report finds that Diplomas Now schools are differentiating themselves from comparable schools in their implementation of structural and instructional reforms.

A Summary of Impact and Implementation Findings from Head Start CARES

April, 2015

This two-page issue focus summarizes the main findings from Head Start CARES, a test of three distinct classroom-based approaches to enhancing children’s social-emotional development: Incredible Years Teacher Training Program, Preschool PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies), and Tools of the Mind–Play.

April, 2015

This random assignment study examines the long-term impacts of a community college program offering financial aid that is contingent on academic performance. Focusing on low-income parents, mostly mothers, it finds that the program decreased the time it took students to earn a degree but did not increase employment or earnings.

Exploratory Findings from the Head Start CARES Demonstration

December, 2014

This report suggests that evidence-based approaches can improve 3-year-olds’ social-emotional competence in mixed-age preschool classrooms. While the findings are promising, further research is needed to confirm the results and to better understand how these benefits are generated.

Implementation of a Sector-Focused Career Advancement Model for Low-Skilled Adults

October, 2014

The WorkAdvance program model aims to prepare individuals for good jobs in high-demand industries and to increase their prospects for staying employed and moving up. Participants receive career readiness and occupational skills training, job placement, and advancement coaching. This report looks at how four providers translated the model into workable programs.

October, 2014

Jobs-Plus — a model proven to help public housing residents find work — is about to be replicated across the country. But to expect similar results as have been achieved in the past, practitioners need to learn from others’ experiences with the program.

The First Year of Implementing Diplomas Now

August, 2014

Three national organizations formed Diplomas Now in an effort to transform urban secondary schools so fewer students drop out. This report introduces Diplomas Now and the associated evaluation, shares first-year implementation fidelity findings, and discusses collaboration among the Diplomas Now partners and between those partners and schools.

National Evaluation of Three Approaches to Improving Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Competence

June, 2014

This demonstration tested the effectiveness of three program enhancements implemented at scale that were designed to improve preschool children’s social-emotional competence. All three had positive impacts on teacher practice and on children’s social-emotional outcomes during the preschool year, although to varying degrees and not necessarily in the expected ways.

Student Characteristics and Patterns of (Un)Affordability

February, 2014

This paper reviews the literature on financial aid and college achievement, examines data from MDRC’s Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration to identify relationships between students’ financial aid and their persistence and academic achievement, and concludes with recommendations for how these collective findings should affect financial aid policy.

A Technical Assistance Guide for Developing and Implementing Performance-Based Scholarships

February, 2014

Drawing on the findings and experiences of two research demonstrations that tested the effectiveness of performance-based scholarships, this guide provides helpful information for colleges and scholarship-granting organizations on this type of aid, which can reduce the financial burden on low-income students while offering incentives for good academic progress.

Large-Scale Implementation of Programs to Improve Children’s Social-Emotional Competence

December, 2013

This report describes the extent to which three different classroom-based social-emotional strategies and related professional development supports were implemented as intended in Head Start centers, as well as the degree to which teachers’ practices changed as a result.

Interim Findings from the PBS Demonstration

August, 2013

Interim results suggest that performance-based scholarships improve students’ academic performance and increase the number of credits they earn. In some sites, the scholarships also appear to reduce student debt. In the one location for which data are available so far, the program increased the proportion of students earning a degree.

Testing a New Approach to Increase Employment Advancement for Low-Skilled Adults

June, 2013

This policy brief discusses a new skills-building model designed to help low-income adults prepare for, enter, and succeed in quality jobs, in high-demand fields with opportunities for career growth. WorkAdvance uses strategies found in sector-based employment programs, combined with career coaching after participants are placed into jobs.

Lessons from the Developmental Education Initiative

January, 2013

This report examines the efforts of 15 community colleges that expanded preexisting interventions or put in place new ones directed toward helping students move through developmental coursework more quickly and more successfully.

Report on Program Impacts, Program Fidelity, and Contrast

December, 2012

The Content Literacy Continuum combines whole-school and targeted approaches to supporting student literacy and content learning, using instructional routines and learning strategies. This report describes implementation and impact findings from a random assignment study involving 33 high schools in nine school districts.

Implementation and Final Impacts of the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) Demonstration

September, 2012

WASC sought to increase the incomes of low-wage workers by stabilizing employment, improving skills, increasing earnings, and easing access to work supports. The program increased workers’ receipt of work supports. In the two sites that eased access to funds for training, WASC increased the receipt of certificates and licenses and increased earnings in the third year.

Lessons from the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project

April, 2012

Many recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals find or keep jobs for a while, but far fewer remain steadily employed and advance in the labor market. This report describes results and draws lessons from rigorous evaluations of 12 programs seeking to improve employment retention and advancement among low-wage workers.

March, 2012

This policy brief, developed by the Urban Institute for the federal Administration for Children and Families, describes how strategies have helped welfare recipients enter employment and increase their earnings. However, more remains to be learned about how best to substantially increase their self-sufficiency and financial well-being.

Improving Classroom Practices in Head Start Settings

February, 2012

This report offers lessons about using coaches to help teachers carry out a program for improving pre-kindergarteners’ social and emotional readiness for school. It addresses selection of the coaching model; coach hiring, training, support, and supervision; coaching processes; and program management, data, and quality assurance.

October, 2011

This brief summarizes results from performance-based scholarship programs in Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio. These scholarships can move the dial on important markers of academic success for students, including credits attempted and earned and rates of full-time enrollment.

What Two Rigorous Studies Tell Us

July, 2011

This synthesis reviews findings from two rigorous, large-scale evaluations — the Professional Development in Reading Study and the Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study. Both interventions had only limited effects on teachers’ knowledge and instruction and no impacts on students’ test scores. The report ends with suggestions about how professional development might be improved to achieve better results.

What We Know About Improving Developmental Education

June, 2011

One of the greatest challenges that community colleges face in their efforts to increase graduation rates is improving the success of students in their developmental, or remedial, education programs. Emphasizing results from experimental and quasi-experimental studies, this literature review identifies the most promising approaches for revising the structure, curriculum, or delivery of developmental education and suggests areas for future innovations in developmental education practice and research.

Progress and Challenges During the First Year of the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education Initiative

May, 2011

This report examines the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education Initiative, an effort to expand promising developmental education interventions in 15 community colleges. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the colleges made progress and encountered challenges in implementing reform strategies in four key areas: changes in curriculum and instruction, academic and student supports, institutionwide policy changes, and precollege interventions.

A Synthesis of Findings from an Evaluation at Six Community Colleges

March, 2011

MDRC’s Opening Doors Demonstration, launched in 2003 with six community colleges, provides some of the first rigorous evidence that a range of interventions can improve educational outcomes for community college students. This 12-page policy brief describes the strategies tested, discusses the results, and offers suggestions to policymakers and practitioners for moving forward.

Findings from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project

January, 2011

This 12-page practitioner brief examines the work, education, and training patterns of single parents in the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project, which evaluated strategies to promote employment stability among low-income workers. The findings support other research in underscoring the importance of changing jobs and of access to “good” jobs as strategies to help low-wage workers advance.

November, 2010

This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project examines the 27,000 single parents who participated in the studied programs to understand the characteristics of those who successfully advanced in the labor market.

November, 2010

This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project demonstrates that low-income single-parent and two-parent families have a roughly equivalent need for services to support employment retention and advancement and that this need does not differ substantially between men and women in two-parent families.

Early Results from the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration in Ohio

October, 2010

Low-income parents at three community colleges in Ohio were offered a cash incentive, contingent on meeting academic benchmarks, to enhance their progress in school. For the first cohort, the performance-based scholarship program increased full-time enrollment and the number of credits attempted and earned, while reducing educational debt.

Evidence from the WASC Demonstration

October, 2010

Although many states are taking steps to offer simplified access to the food stamp program, little is known about the effect this might have on food stamp error rates. This paper studies the effects on error rates in two sites that were part of the Work Advancement Support Center demonstration, which aimed to help individuals in low-income jobs boost their income by making the most of available work supports, including food stamps.

Reemployment Strategies in Retention and Advancement Programs for Current and Former Welfare Recipients

June, 2010

When current and former welfare recipients find jobs, they often lose them quickly and have trouble finding another job. This brief, based on the experiences of 12 programs in the national Employment Retention and Advancement evaluation, offers advice on how to design and implement practices that turn a recent job loss into an opportunity to find a better one.

Final Impacts for Twelve Models

April, 2010

This report presents the final implementation and impact findings for 12 programs in the national Employment Retention and Advancement project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families. These programs attempted to promote steady work and career advancement for current and former welfare recipients and other low-wage workers, most of whom were single mothers.

Seven-Year Findings from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

January, 2010

An extended analysis of Jobs-Plus, an ambitious employment program inside some of the nation’s poorest inner-city public housing developments, finds substantial effects on residents’ earnings a full three years after the program ended.

Lessons for Practitioners

November, 2009

This 12-page brief distills practical implementation lessons from four programs that help low-wage workers access and retain child care subsidies, public health insurance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and other related government benefits.

An Introduction to the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration

October, 2009

This policy brief describes a demonstration launched by MDRC in four states in 2008 to evaluate whether performance-based scholarships — paid contingent on attaining academic benchmarks — are an effective way to improve persistence and academic success among low-income college students. The demonstration builds on positive results from an earlier MDRC study in Louisiana.

Three-Year Effects of an Enhanced Student Services Program at Two Community Colleges

August, 2009

In this program, low-income students received enhanced student services and were eligible for a modest stipend for two semesters. The program improved academic outcomes in the second semester and registration in the semester after that, but these effects did not persist in subsequent semesters.

June, 2009

WASC is an innovative strategy to help low-wage workers increase their incomes by stabilizing employment, improving skills, increasing earnings, and easing access to work supports. In its first year, WASC connected more workers to food stamps and publicly funded health care coverage and, in one site, substantially increased training activities.

Engaging Low-Wage Workers in Career Advancement

December, 2008

The Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration offers a new approach to helping low-wage and dislocated workers advance by increasing their wages or work hours, upgrading their skills, or finding better jobs. This report presents preliminary information on the effectiveness of strategies that were used to attract people to the WASC program and engage them in services.

A Guide for Practitioners Based on the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

December, 2008

This guide contains practical advice on implementing a program model — known as the Jobs-Plus Community Initiative for Public Housing Families (Jobs-Plus) — aimed at helping public housing residents find and keep jobs.

Implementation and Early Impacts of an Employer-Based Approach to Encourage Employment Retention Among Low-Wage Workers

December, 2008

An on-site program at long-term nursing care facilities had little effect overall on retention of low-wage employees, aside from a small increase in retention in the short term and among subgroups with particularly high turnover rates.

September, 2008

This report presents findings on the effectiveness of two specific professional development strategies on improving the knowledge and practice of second-grade teachers in high-poverty schools and on the reading achievement of their students.

Lessons from Research on Welfare Training Programs and Two Promising Community College Strategies

February, 2008

This working paper, prepared for a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, reviews what is known about education acquisition by low-wage workers and highlights promising strategies being tested at several community colleges.

Navigating Career Advancement for Low-Wage Workers

October, 2007

This report, from MDRC’s Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration, explores how WASC career coaches help low-wage workers understand the complex interactions between earnings and eligibility for work support programs and guide them to make the best advancement decisions possible.

Early Results from the Opening Doors Demonstration in Ohio

April, 2007

This report describes early results from MDRC’s evaluation of the Opening Doors program at Lorain Country Community College in Elyria, Ohio. The program provided enhanced student services and a modest scholarship to low-income students to encourage them to stay in school and earn credentials.

Early Results from the Opening Doors Demonstration in Ohio

April, 2007

This report presents the early results from MDRC’s evaluation of the Opening Doors program at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio. The two-semester program offered intensive student advising services and a modest scholarship to low-income students to encourage them to stay in school and earn credentials.

Building Evidence About What Works to Improve Self-Sufficiency

March, 2007

This working paper argues for building a stronger base of evidence in the housing-employment policy arena through an expanded use of randomized controlled trials.

Income Support Systems in Cuyahoga and Philadelphia, 2000 to 2005

March, 2007

This report, part of MDRC’s Project on Devolution and Urban Change, tells the story of Cleveland’s and Philadelphia’s welfare systems in the early 2000s, a time marked by an economic downturn, state budget cuts, and welfare time limits.

January, 2007

In a rapidly growing low-wage labor market, the workforce investment system and the Workforce Investment Act should expand their focus to include job retention and advancement services by engaging private employers and to enhance the accessibility of work supports.

The Effect of Project GRAD on High School Student Outcomes in Three Urban School Districts

July, 2006

This report describes the effects of Project GRAD, an ambitious education reform that targets high schools and the elementary and middle schools that feed into them, on a variety of student outcomes in high schools in Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; and Columbus, Ohio.

The Effect of Project GRAD on Elementary School
Student Outcomes in Four Urban Districts

July, 2006

This report describes the effects of Project GRAD, an ambitious education reform that targets high schools and the elementary and middle schools that feed into them, on student test scores in elementary schools in Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; and Newark, New Jersey.

Students Navigating Community College

July, 2006

For this study, MDRC interviewed students at two colleges that are part of the Opening Doors Demonstration, a program to help community college students remain in school and succeed. The students spoke about their experiences on and off campus and the factors that help or hinder their progress in school.

Presented Before the Subcommittee on Federalism and the Census, House Committee on Government Reform

June, 2006

MDRC’s study of Jobs-Plus, an employment program for public housing residents, offered the first hard evidence that a work-focused intervention based in public housing can effectively boost residents’ earnings and promote their self-sufficiency. Congress may wish to consider introducing Jobs-Plus in additional housing developments across the country.

Launching the Work Advancement and Support Center Demonstration

March, 2006

The Work Advancement and Support Center demonstration tests an innovative approach to fostering employment retention, career advancement, and increased take-up of work supports for a broad range of low-earners, including reemployed dislocated workers. This report examines start-up experiences in the first two sites: Dayton, Ohio, and San Diego, California.

A Study in Four Big Cities
A Technical Report

December, 2005

This technical report describes food stamp caseload dynamics between January 1993 and December 2001 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

August, 2005

Welfare caseloads fell, employment increased, and neighborhood conditions improved in Los Angeles during a period of economic growth and welfare reform. However, most welfare recipients still remained poor, the concentration of poverty increased, and those who worked were usually in low-wage jobs without benefits.

The Opening Doors Demonstration

June, 2005

The Opening Doors Demonstration is designed to show how community colleges can help more low-income students remain in school and improve other outcomes, including degree attainment, labor market success, and personal and social well-being.

New Findings on Policy Experiments Conducted in the Early 1990s

April, 2005

In welfare and employment programs that provide earnings supplements, increased family income plays a key role in improving children’s school achievement.

Evidence from Three States

March, 2005

In a study of over 3,500 women in welfare-to-work programs in three states, child care instability did not appear to be a major cause of employment instability.

The Effectiveness of Jobs-Plus

March, 2005

Jobs-Plus, an ambitious employment program inside some of the nation’s poorest inner-city public housing developments, markedly increased the earnings of residents in the sites where it was implemented well.

Services That May Help Low-Income Students Succeed in Community College

November, 2004

Community colleges can pursue many strategies for enhancing student services, including offering “one-stop shopping,” which provides students with multiple services at the same time and place.

Lessons from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

July, 2004

This report examines how public housing authorities in six cities implemented one of the most innovative features of the Jobs-Plus demonstration: using incentives plans to keep rents lower than they would have been under existing rules as a way to encourage and reward work among public housing residents.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

June, 2004

Welfare caseloads fell, employment increased, and social conditions generally improved in Miami-Dade County after the 1996 federal welfare reform law was passed, but the county’s welfare-to-work program was poorly implemented and unusually harsh.

Implementing the Community Support for Work Component of Jobs-Plus

June, 2004

The “community support for work” component of Jobs-Plus relies on outreach workers from public housing developments to help extend Jobs-Plus’s reach in public housing communities.

April, 2004

In MDRC’s study of over 160,000 single-parent welfare recipients, families who repeatedly return to welfare assistance—“cyclers”—were less disadvantaged in the labor market than long-term welfare recipients. At the same time, they were less able than short-term recipients to attain stable employment and to work without welfare.

Improving Services for Low-Income Working Families

March, 2004

A collaboration of MDRC and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, this report explores how best to improve job stability and career advancement of low-wage earners and increase their household income.

Lessons from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration in Public Housing

November, 2003

From the Jobs-Plus initiative, this report describes efforts to build participation among public housing residents in a program that offers services and financial incentives designed to promote work.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

October, 2003

Based on a comprehensive body of evidence, this report from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change examines how changes in Pennsylvania’s welfare reform policies combined with a strong regional economy in the late 1990s to create substantial change in the welfare system in Philadelphia.

The Role of Informal Care in the Lives of Low-Income Women and Children

October, 2003

Drawing on ethnographic interviews, this policy brief describes the patchwork child care arrangements made by low-income parents and discusses implications for policies that would promote the dual objectives of child well-being and parental employment.

Early Implementation Experiences of Employment Retention and Advancement Programs

October, 2003

Describing the initial experiences of 15 Employment Retention and Advancement programs in 8 states, this report emphasizes implementation issues and focuses on connections among the agencies and institutions that deliver retention and advancement services to low-income workers and hard-to-employ populations.

Instructional Innovations That Help Low-Income Students Succeed in Community College

July, 2003

This paper looks at curricular and program redesign strategies currently used by community colleges to speed nontraditional students’ advancement from lower levels of skill into credential programs and to shorten the time commitment required to earn a credential.

Evidence from Ten Experimental Welfare-to-Work Programs

June, 2003

Evidence from Random Assignment Studies of Welfare and Work Programs

June, 2003

The Effects of Welfare Reform Policies on Marriage and Cohabitation

April, 2003

Patching Together Care for Children When Parents Move from Welfare to Work

April, 2003

Ethnographic Evidence from Working Poor Families in the New Hope Intervention

April, 2003

How Mothers Meet Basic Family Needs While Moving from Welfare to Work

April, 2003

Lessons from Jobs-Plus About the Mobility of Public Housing Residents and Implications for Place-Based Initiatives

March, 2003

This paper begins to fill a void in the understanding of residential mobility in low-income communities by examining intended and actual out-migration patterns of a cohort of residents of five public housing developments.

Key Features of Mature Employment Programs in Seven Public Housing Communities

February, 2003

Aiming to significantly increase employment and economic self-sufficiency among public housing residents since its inception in 1997, the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families created and operated on-site job centers at each of seven public housing developments in six cities across the nation.

How Are They Faring?

January, 2003

Responding to the growing need to understand whether people who have left the welfare rolls since the passage of the 1996 welfare reform law are able to find and keep jobs and earn enough to lift their families out of poverty, this study compares two groups of single-parent welfare recipients — one that left the welfare rolls in 1996, and a similar group who exited welfare in 1998 —investigating their background characteristics, their employment and earnings experiences, and their material well-being.

January, 2003

This report studies the post-welfare experiences of three groups — two that received federal housing assistance when they left the welfare rolls and an unassisted group that did not — to see how they differ with respect to their labor market outcomes, material well-being, and propensity to return to the welfare rolls or rely on other forms of public assistance.

An Examination of the Children at the Beginning of the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

December, 2002

Children who live in public housing are commonly thought to be at greater risk of experiencing academic and behavioral problems than other low-income children, but this paper is among the few to explore empirically the characteristics and circumstances of these children.

The Jobs-Plus Experience in Public Housing Developments

September, 2002

Through extensive ethnographic interviews with staff and residents of two Jobs-Plus housing developments in Seattle and St. Paul, this report explains how a range of social and personal issues characteristic of largely immigrant public housing residents can render conventional employment and support services ineffective.

Implementation, Effects, and Experiences of Poor Families and Neighborhoods

September, 2002

This report from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change examines how welfare reform has played out in Ohio's Cuyahoga County, which encompasses Cleveland, based on a comprehensive body of evidence that includes administrative records, surveys, and ethnographic interviews.

Findings from the Jobs-Plus Baseline Survey

September, 2002

Tapping a deep pool of survey data to learn about residents' connections to the labor market, this report dispels some widespread misconceptions. For example, it finds that even in places with high rates of joblessness, many public housing residents have work histories that are extensive and varied, albeit typically in unstable, low-wage jobs.

How Welfare and Work Policies Influence Parents' Decisions

August, 2002

Congressional deliberations on the future of welfare reform have reopened a debate about whether current child care assistance programs adequately support employment among low-income working parents while also fostering their children's development. Issues at the forefront of this debate are explored in this timely new policy brief.

Lessons from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies

July, 2002

This report distills lessons from the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) with a focus on the effectiveness of employment-focused versus education-focused programs in helping people move from welfare to work.

July, 2002

The latest report from the Opening Doors project explores how to help low-wage workers move toward career advancement and higher wages by enrolling in and completing community college programs.

Evidence and Lessons to Guide TANF Reauthorization

June, 2002

A Synthesis of Research

May, 2002

The latest research synthesis from the Next Generation project takes a closer look at troubling findings regarding the effects of welfare and work programs on the teenaged children of program enrollees.

Lessons from Four Big Cities as They Implement Welfare Reform

March, 2002

The Effects of Adult Education in Welfare-to-Work Programs

March, 2002

Since the early 1980s, welfare policymakers and program operators have debated the role of adult education in program strategies to help welfare recipients make the transition from welfare to work. This report addresses key questions about how welfare-to-work programs that emphasize adult education activities affect the educational and economic outcomes of welfare recipients.

An Introduction to the Employment Retention and Advancement Project

February, 2002

Welfare reform has resulted in millions of low-income parents replacing the receipt of public cash assistance with income from employment. But what strategies will help the new workforce entrants find more stable jobs, advance in the labor market, and achieve long-term self-sufficiency? The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) evaluation is a comprehensive effort to explore this urgent public policy question.

Integrating and Instrumental Variables Analytic Method with an Experimental Design

January, 2002

Welfare-Reliant Women's Post-TANF Views of Work-Family Trade-offs and Marriage

December, 2001

Five-Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs

December, 2001

How best to help people move from welfare to work — particularly whether an employment-focused approach or an education-focused approach is more effective — has been a subject of long-standing debate. This report summary, which describes the long-term effects of 11 different mandatory welfare-to-work programs for single parents and their children, takes a major step toward resolving this debate. 

Situating Child Care and Child Care Subsidy Use in the Daily Routines of Lower-Income Families

December, 2001

Final Lessons from Parents’ Fair Share

November, 2001

Fathers provide important financial and emotional support to their children. Yet low-income noncustodial fathers, with low wages and high rates of joblessness, often do not fulfill their parenting roles. The child support system has not traditionally helped these men to do so, since its focus has been on securing financial support from fathers who can afford to pay.

Impressions of Community College Access and Retention from Low-Wage Workers

November, 2001

The Experiences of Current and Former Welfare Mothers Who Work

November, 2001

The Effects of Welfare and Employment Programs on Child Care

September, 2001

New Experimental Evidence on Financial Work Incentives and Pre-Employment Services

July, 2001

Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Three-Year Impacts of the Columbus Welfare-to-Work Program

June, 2001

Learning from the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

May, 2001

Findings from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change

May, 2001

Collaboration Among Agencies and Public Housing Residents in the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

May, 2001

Factors That Aid or Impede Their Receipt

January, 2001

The Effects of a Mandate to Enter a Welfare-to-Work Program

November, 2000

The Impact of Parents' Fair Share on Low-Income Fathers' Employment

October, 2000

The Impact of Parents' Fair Share on Paternal Involvement

October, 2000

Impacts of 20 Welfare-to-Work Programs by Subgroup

August, 2000

A Synthesis of Child Research Conducted as Part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies

June, 2000
January, 2000

Developed as part of MDRC’s Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration, the Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum is intended to help fathers more effectively fulfill their roles as parents, partners, and workers.

Origins and Early Accomplishments of the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

September, 1999

Early Implementation and Ethnographic Findings from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change

April, 1999

How to Implement a Mandatory Stay-in-School Program for Teenage Parents on Welfare

September, 1998

Lessons for the Child Support Enforcement System from Parents' Fair Share

May, 1998

A Saturation and Place-Based Employment Initiative for Public Housing Residents

May, 1998

Final Report on Ohio’s Welfare Initiative to Improve School Attendance Among Teenage Parents

January, 1997

Two Year Findings on the Labor Force Attachment and Human Capital Development Programs in Three Sites

January, 1997

AFDC Families with Preschool-Aged Children in Atlanta at the Outset of the JOBS Evaluation.

January, 1995

What Fathers and Mothers Say About Child Support

July, 1992

Findings from a Program for Disadvantaged High School Students

October, 1990

The Youth Incentive Entitlement Pilot Projects

June, 1984
Project Overview

Even as employers need skilled workers in order to grow and compete in the global economy, too many young Americans are shut out.

Project Overview

While a college degree offers the opportunity for increased income, it alone does not guarantee students’ entry into the workforce.

Project Overview

The Office of Child Support Enforcement launched the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) demonstration to test the efficacy of incorporating procedural justice principles

Project Overview

The Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project is a new initiative to improve community college persistence and completion in Ohio.

Project Overview

Postsecondary education has become a centerpiece strategy for improving America’s labor market. It is estimated that 60 percent of American jobs will require some form of postsecondary education by 2018, and those who have not earned a college degree are 55 percent more likely to be unemployed than those who have.

Project Overview

While the U.S. has made strides in increasing college access among low-income students, college completion has remained low. Graduation rates are particularly stagnant among our nation’s community colleges, which enroll a large number of low-income and nontraditional college students.

Project Overview

More than one-third of all children under 18 years of age — about 24 million children — live in single-parent families, a vast majority headed by single mothers.

Project Overview

Behavioral science sheds light on human decision-making and behavior to better understand why people make the choices that they do.

Project Overview

Past evaluations have provided solid evidence regarding what works to help low-income individuals become employed. However, these studies have also found that many people who found jobs were not better off financially, in part because these jobs were unstable, low paying, and provided few advancement opportunities.

Project Overview

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is the main federal program for increasing employment and earnings and reducing reliance on government subsidies among recipients of housing subsidies.

Project Overview

A central challenge in welfare policy arises from the dual imperatives to promote self-sufficiency among welfare recipients and to protect vulnerable families from economic deprivation.

Project Overview

Low-performing high schools, particularly those serving low-income communities and students of color, are often characterized by high absentee and course failure rates, substantial dropout rates, and — even for graduates — inadequate preparation for postsecondary education and the labor market.

Project Overview

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) is the federal government’s largest source of federally funded employment services and training. WIA is the latest in a series of federal employment and training programs, the first having arisen in response to the Great Depression.

Project Overview

Head Start, which serves nearly 1 million low-income children, is the nation’s largest federally sponsored early childhood education program.

Project Overview

For many low-income college students, one of the biggest barriers to attendance is cost. While federal and state financial aid is available to help with tuition, fees, books, and some living expenses, students still often have unmet need, particularly if they are from the poorest families or are independent from their parents.

Project Overview

Unprecedented national attention is now focusing on the community college as a critical institution for helping American workers secure economic well-being and for helping the nation as a whole to retain a competitive edge in the world economy.

Project Overview

Despite the increasing importance of a postsecondary credential in today’s labor market, degree completion rates for community college students have stagnated.

Project Overview

In recent decades, families have shown a steady decline in their ability to weather a financial emergency. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2011 estimated that about one-quarter of Americans lack the capacity to cover an unexpected expense by coming up with $2,000 within 30 days.

Project Overview

While educators and officials across the United States are struggling with how to raise student achievement and improve graduation rates, very few programs have been shown to work at scale in achieving either goal.

Project Overview

It is important that children who are learning to read be exposed to high-quality, research-based curricula, but it is also essential that teachers be well versed in the instructional practices that promote early literacy (see the description of Reading First for more on this topic)

Project Overview

The welfare system has been transformed over the past two decades, notably through the introduction of stricter work requirements and time limits on cash assistance in the 1990s. At the same time, government at both the federal and the state level invested in offering financial work supports of unprecedented scope to low-income parents.

Project Overview

Launched in Houston in 1993 by James Ketelsen, retired CEO of Tenneco, and since expanded to 12 additional school districts, Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams (GRAD) combines a variety of promising reforms to improve instruction and raise student achievement in schools that serve p

Project Overview

The federal welfare overhaul of 1996 ushered in myriad policy changes aimed at getting low-income parents off public assistance and into employment.

Project Overview

The wages and earnings of low-income workers have been stagnant or declining in real terms for approximately 35 years. Nationwide, the labor market-driven growth of the low-wage workforce has become a major issue for both the business community and the public.

Project Overview

Community colleges, which tend to be accessible and affordable, serve as a critical resource for low-income individuals striving to improve their prospects in the labor market and life.

Project Overview

Policy debates about child poverty and welfare reform, which once focused almost exclusively on single mothers and their children, have in recent years begun to train the spotlight on fathers.

Project Overview

Early childbearing puts teenagers at risk of myriad negative consequences, including single parenthood, unemployment, and poverty. Faced with the economic and emotional challenges of parenting, many custodial teen parents — nearly all of them mothers — drop out of school and turn to welfare to support themselves and their children.

Project Overview

Public housing developments are among the most economically challenged neighborhoods in the United States. In fact, many public housing residents face obstacles to employment even beyond those normally experienced by other low-income people.