Transitional Jobs/Subsidized Employment


Implications for Research and Evaluation to Inform Programs Serving Low-Income Populations

October, 2021

This paper discusses several ongoing trends in the labor market and their potential effects on the nature of work over the next 10 to 15 years for low-income populations. The trends are used to highlight potential questions to inform research and evaluation agendas on this topic.

Issue Focus

An Interview with Jenny Taylor

May, 2020

Jenny Taylor, vice president of career services for Goodwill of North Georgia, describes her successful subsidized jobs program targeting noncustodial parents (mostly fathers), how it has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it could be expanded to serve more people.

Issue Focus

An Interview with Gregg Keesling

May, 2020

RecycleForce is a social enterprise in Indianapolis that provides subsidized jobs to citizens returning from prison. MDRC interviewed its president, Gregg Keesling, about how his program works and what effect COVID-19 has had on his company and employees.

Issue Focus

The Critical Role of Nonprofits, Public Agencies, and Social Enterprises

April, 2020

The surging unemployment rate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to remain unusually high for many months. The findings from two large-scale studies suggest that public/nonprofit employers are much more likely to hire disadvantaged workers whose wages are subsidized than are private, for-profit employers.


A Synthesis of Findings from Evaluations of 13 Programs

February, 2020
Danielle Cummings, Dan Bloom

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor launched complementary large-scale research projects on the effectiveness of the latest generation of subsidized employment models. This report summarizes findings from the studies and discusses the implications for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.

Working Paper
November, 2019
Riley Webster

A voluntary program in San Francisco arranged interviews for disadvantaged job-seekers and offered employers temporary wage subsidies to hire them. This study analyzes the one-year, per person program costs and the cost of non-program services, including education and training. The analysis indicates that the program was likely cost-beneficial from society’s perspective.


A Feasibility Study of the Bridges to Pathways Program

September, 2019
Kyla Wasserman, Johanna Walter, Beata Luczywek, Hannah Wagner, Cindy Redcross

In a program to reduce criminal justice involvement, participants received mentoring, case management, subsidized internships, and the opportunity to earn a high school credential. The program reduced the arrest rate for felonies and violent crimes but did not affect overall rates of arrest or incarceration, educational or training certification, or employment.