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
Report

This report from the Research Alliance for New York City Schools and MDRC examines the impact of 37 CTE-dedicated high schools in New York City on a range of outcomes, including academic engagement, high school graduation, and college enrollment.

Brief

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief draws on interviews conducted with noncustodial and custodial parents in the study and describes parents’ perspectives on and experiences with the child support program.

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.