Schaberg, a quantitative researcher in Economic Mobility, Housing, and Communities, joined MDRC in 2012. She is currently the data manager on the evaluation of the TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative grant programs and a project focused on microlending in the United States. She is also on the data and impact teams for the WorkAdvance evaluation and a team leader on a project assessing the feasibility of using administrative data to evaluate long-term outcomes. Previously, she was the lead programmer on the Subprime Lending Data Exploration project, which used “big data” to examine the patterns of and needs for subprime loans. Across these projects, Schaberg’s responsibilities include data acquisition and processing, impact analyses, and report writing. Schaberg holds an MS in urban policy analysis and management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School, and a BA in English from Miami University.
Portland, Oregon, Early 1990sDecember, 2022
This report presents 20-year findings from an analysis of an employment-focused program offered to individuals who received welfare benefits. The program generally increased average earnings but did not change employment trajectories. The findings represent some of the first evidence on how these individuals fared in the labor market long term.Report
Findings from the Per Scholas WorkAdvance ProgramMarch, 2022
The information technology (IT) sector has great potential to help workers with low incomes improve their prospects in the labor market. This review examines the IT training offered by an employment services provider in New York and the impact such training had on career advancement opportunities for program participants.ReportMarch, 2022
Sectoral strategies train people for industries with strong local demand. This report summarizes the Year 7 findings of an evaluation of WorkAdvance, a sectoral training initiative launched in 2011. Overall, the results show that sector programs can increase earnings in the longer term and can lead to career advancement gains.Report
36-Month Impacts of the Grameen America ProgramMarch, 2022
Grameen America provides microloans to women living in poverty seeking to launch or expand small businesses. The program resulted in a reduction of material hardship and an increase in credit scores, business ownership, business earnings, and nonretirement savings. It also improved participants’ feelings of overall financial well-being.Report
Implementation and Early Impacts from the TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative Randomized Controlled TrialSeptember, 2021
This report from Westat and MDRC focuses on the implementation and short-term impacts of TechHire and the Strengthening Working Families Initiative, two programs that make training in high-demand industries more accessible to individuals who experience barriers to training and employment.ReportAugust, 2021
Evaluations of many social programs have not had access to the resources needed for measuring their long-term outcomes. This guide was developed to help researchers assess the feasibility and potential value of using administrative data to examine long-term program outcomes and describes steps for linking those data with evaluation data.Issue Focus
Meeting the Needs of Workers and EmployersNovember, 2020
Low-wage workers have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing greater levels of unemployment than their higher-wage-earning peers. Training programs that focus on moving workers into skilled jobs in industries with strong local demand could reposition them for 21st-century success.Report
18-Month Impacts of the Grameen America ProgramSeptember, 2020
Grameen America is a microfinance institution that provides business loans to women in poverty in the United States. Results from a randomized controlled trial show the program increased business ownership and earnings, credit worthiness, and savings, and reduced material hardship among participants, but it did not increase overall net income.Brief
A Synthesis of Findings on Sector StrategiesSeptember, 2020
Job seekers with low incomes face numerous hurdles to finding and keeping high-quality jobs. Sector strategies address those hurdles by matching job seekers with skills training for specific industries or occupations where there is a growing demand. This review examines a cross-section of strategies, highlighting successes and areas for improvement.Report
Costs, Benefits, and Impacts from the WorkAdvance DemonstrationMarch, 2020
WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs, concentrating on demand-driven skills training and identifiable career pathways. Findings show the approach increased earnings and led to advancement gains over time at the most successful study sites. One program, Per Scholas, boosted earnings by 20 percent in the last year of follow-up.ReportMarch, 2020
Many people are interested in making better use of administrative data (data collected in the course of administering public programs) to support research and evidence-based policy. This publication contains information about a variety of useful administrative data sources and how to access them.Methodology
Lessons from the Grameen America EvaluationJune, 2019
In any study, there is a tension between research and program needs. This program’s group-based microloan model presented particular challenges for random assignment. Reflections in Methodology looks at how the research design was adapted to allow a fair test of the program’s effectiveness without hampering its ability to operate.Report
Early Impacts of the Grameen America ProgramMarch, 2019
Grameen America provides loans to low-income women who are seeking to start or expand their small businesses. Early results from a random assignment evaluation show that Grameen participants are more likely to operate their own businesses and to establish credit scores and less likely to experience material hardship.Methodology
Lessons from the Grameen America Formative EvaluationJanuary, 2019
Random assignment is prized for its rigor, but it’s not always feasible to carry out. This Reflections in Methodology post outlines other strong options for studying the effects of a program and illustrates the application of some key considerations in a specific context.Brief
Findings from the Subprime Lending Data Exploration ProjectNovember, 2018
Medical debt was a main theme emerging from a survey and interviews with individuals who use payday or subprime installment loans. Many respondents reported using such loans to pay medical bills or to cover regular expenses that may have originated from a health-related emergency.MethodologyOctober, 2017
To improve outcomes among high-interest borrowers, policymakers need to understand what is driving usage. This second post in MDRC’s Reflections on Methodology series discusses how a data discovery process revealed clusters of borrowers who differed greatly in the kinds of loans and lenders they used and in their loan outcomes.Brief
Three-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance DemonstrationSeptember, 2017
WorkAdvance offers training and placement services to help prepare individuals for quality jobs in sectors that have strong local demand and advancement opportunities. In this update on employment and earnings only, the most experienced provider continued to produce substantial impacts on both; one other provider increased earnings for late enrollees.Report
Two-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance DemonstrationAugust, 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.Report
A Preview Summary of Two-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance DemonstrationJune, 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.Report
Who Uses Them and Why?June, 2016
Funded by MetLife Foundation, this paper uses a large and unusual data set, combining administrative data provided by subprime lenders with survey and in-depth interview data, to gain a better understanding of the backgrounds, experiences, and needs of people who use online subprime small-dollar credit.Report
Implementation of a Sector-Focused Career Advancement Model for Low-Skilled AdultsOctober, 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.
A college education can be a critical step towards attaining economic mobility, in part because it can translate to higher earnings. But there are differences in the benefits that accrue to Black, Latinx and White graduates. Various factors drive racial wage and income gaps, including occupational segregation, biases in who gets called back for job interviews,...
Many federal employment and human service interventions are designed to have long-term effects, yet most evaluations end after only a few years, before the story is fully known. The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP), established in 2016, produced a...
Quality early care and education can have lasting positive effects on young children, especially those growing up in low-income families. However, there are ongoing challenges in recruiting, supporting, and retaining a qualified, healthy, and...
The Grameen America program uses a group microlending model that was pioneered by the original Grameen Bank program in Bangladesh designed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus and has since spread throughout the developing world. As in the original model, loans provided in the United States are approved on a group-...Megan Millenky, Dan Bloom, Susan Scrivener, Charles Michalopoulos, Dina A. R. Israel, Johanna Walter, Lauren Cates, Sally Dai, Caroline Mage, Emily Marano, Viktoriya Syrov, Douglas Phillips, Kyla Wasserman, Lily Freedman, Osvaldo Avila, Emily Brennan, Jillian Verrillo, Gilda Azurdia, Frieda Molina, Shelley Rappaport, Clinton Key, Nandita Verma, Cynthia Miller, Jared Smith, Shawna Anderson, Kelsey Schaberg, Caitlin Anzelone, James A. Riccio, Keri West, Caroline Schultz, Ethan Feldman
Many Americans struggle in the labor market even when overall economic conditions are good. Unemployment is persistently high for some demographic groups and in certain geographic areas, and a large proportion of...
The H-1B visa program, established in 1990 by Congress, allows employers to hire foreigners to work in “specialty occupations” (such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health care, business, financial services, or life sciences) on a temporary basis. In 1998, a user fee was added to fund scholarship and training programs that develop the skills of the...Barbara S. Goldman, Frieda Molina, Donna Wharton-Fields, Richard Hendra, David Navarro, Susan Scrivener, Betsy L. Tessler, Jonathan Bigelow, Keith Olejniczak, Kelsey Schaberg, Annie Utterback, Alexandra Pennington, Brandon Hawkins
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — formerly the food stamp program —is a critical work support for low-income people and families. Although SNAP has included various employment and training requirements for adult recipients to maintain their eligibility since the 1970s, the SNAP...
Payday loans are short-term loans geared toward working-class and lower middle-class households that possess access to bank accounts and can prove sustained employment. People may use them and other alternative credit instruments to deal with unexpected expenses or simply to make ends meet between paychecks. While the loans are expensive, they may be one of the only...Frieda Molina, Barbara S. Goldman, Richard Hendra, Betsy L. Tessler, Keith Olejniczak, Kelsey Schaberg, Hannah Dalporto, Alexandra Pennington
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. More recent randomized controlled evaluations of both...