People who work low-wage jobs often earn incomes without opportunities for economic mobility, leaving many families in poverty. MDRC designs and tests initiatives to support and improve the economic well-being of these workers so they can remain steadily employed and move into higher earning jobs.

The Latest
Commentary

In this commentary originally published by Route Fifty, Jonathan Bigelow highlights the national challenge of finding landlords who will accept Housing Choice Vouchers. However, evidence from the Creating Moves to Opportunity (CMTO) project in King County and Seattle offers lessons about what might help landlords say yes.

Brief

This brief highlights key findings from the implementation of the TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative (SWFI) programs and offers considerations for practitioners involved in planning or implementing similar programs. The programs provided training for high-tech jobs as well as support services to people with barriers to training and employment.

Key Documents
Report

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.

Report

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

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.

Report

Two-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance Demonstration

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.