Frieda Molina
Director, Economic Mobility, Housing, and Communities

Molina has over 20 years of experience providing technical and operational assistance to workforce development service providers, and has worked at MDRC for 17 years on numerous workforce development evaluations. She is director of MDRC’s Economic Mobility, Housing, and Communities, and co-directs the MDRC Center for Effective Career and Technical Education. She is currently the project director for WorkAdvance, a multisite demonstration project funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Social Innovation Fund. WorkAdvance is a career advancement demonstration with a sector focus. It builds on, among other evaluations, the national Work Advancement and Support Center Demonstration (WASC), a multisite effort for which Molina served as the project director. The goal of WASC was to improve substantially the earnings and overall income of low-wage workers by facilitating access to work support and by helping workers to advance in the labor market. In addition to WorkAdvance, Molina works on the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Pilot Project evaluation, a 10-state evaluation funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, and on the national Workforce Investment Act Evaluation of Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs, a 30-site evaluation funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. In both studies MDRC is serving as a subcontractor to Mathematica Policy Research. In early 2000, Molina was a member of the national Employment Retention and Advancement evaluation, for which she helped three Oregon sites develop and implement their pre- and postemployment interventions. Previously she was the project director of the Neighborhood Jobs Initiative, an employment saturation initiative focused on increasing employment rates in five low-income neighborhoods. Outside of Economic Mobility, Housing, and Communities, Molina worked on the national Head Start CARES evaluation, a study designed to test the effects of social-emotional program enhancements in Head Start settings across the country. She has also worked on the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start CARES implementation evaluation and the Foundations of Learning evaluation. Molina works for MDRC from her home base in the Chicago area. She holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA in anthropology from Pomona College.