MDRC is designing and testing initiatives to find ways to help low-income workers remain steadily employed, develop career ladders, and move into better jobs.

The Latest
Working Paper

High school and college students need more and better training to find jobs in the quickly evolving technical workforce. Courses of study in career and technical education (CTE) aim to provide these skills. This working paper examines the challenges to providing CTE and highlights the need for further research.

Working Paper

Changing labor market needs—particularly with regard to the clean energy sector—highlight the importance of developing new career and technical education (CTE) pathways. This working paper provides an overview of CTE policies and examines the need to improve the education and training pipeline to expand the climate workforce.

Key Documents

Lessons from the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project

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.


Final Impacts for Twelve Models

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.

Issue Focus

Even in good economic times, workers with limited education may need help getting or regaining a foothold in the job market. Effective career training programs exist. Approaches that target in-demand industries and closely involve employers can get results, benefiting high school students, adults without diplomas, and long-term unemployed workers.