A Research Framework for Evaluating Jobs-Plus

A Saturation and Place-Based Employment Initiative for Public Housing Residents


Jobs-Plus is a new way for large numbers of people who live in public housing to get and keep jobs, making their communities better places to live. It is being launched as a research demonstration project in seven cities, where its success will be carefully studied along a variety of dimensions. The cities are: Baltimore, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dayton, Los Angeles (two developments), St. Paul, and Seattle.

The public housing developments selected for the project are places where work is rare and welfare receipt widespread. Jobs-Plus will attempt to increase work dramatically by providing all working-age residents with state-of-the art employment and training services, financial incentives, and social supports for work. It will strive to help those not working enter work, those working inconsistently work more consistently, and those with low-paying jobs move on to better-paying jobs and climb a career ladder. Through this focus on work, Jobs-Plus will address important issues concerning community revitalization, the future of public housing, and welfare reform, thus promising to make the lessons from the demonstration broadly relevant.

The main purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the demonstration’s comprehensive research agenda. It turns to that task after taking a closer look at the main objectives and rationale of Jobs-Plus and how it will attempt to achieve its ambitious goals.

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