A Survey of Participants and Worksite Supervisors in the New York City Work Experience Program

| Gregory Hoerz, Karla Hanson

This report discusses the experiences of welfare recipients in the New York City Work Experience Program; it is based on a survey conducted of program participants and their worksite supervisors in 1986. The program was instituted by the Human Resources Administration, which oversaw the city’s Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (the forerunner of the current Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare program), to achieve several goals: to enhance the employability and job skills of welfare recipients, to familiarize them with the world of work, and to increase their motivation to find a job.

The report focuses on the following questions:

  • What kinds of jobs were assigned to work experience participants?
  • How important were the jobs to the sponsoring agencies? Were they “make-work” or a valuable contribution?
  • What skills were important to the jobs, and what skill levels did participants bring to their jobs? How much did their skills improve on the job?
  • How satisfied were supervisors with the participants’ work and how did they compare the performance and productivity of participants with those of other workers?
  • How satisfied were participants with the program’s work requirement and with their work experience jobs?