This report from the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-Income Families project examines programs that integrate employment services with treatment and recovery services for people with substance use disorders. It explores the role employment plays in recovery and reviews limited but promising evidence on the effectiveness of these integrated programs.
Background and Directions for Future Research
This paper describes the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model, a framework for providing employment services to those facing barriers to work. MDRC, in partnership with MEF Associates and Abt Associates, is studying IPS as part of the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-Income Families (BEES) project.
Next Steps for Research
The paper summarizes past and ongoing research, identifies gaps in knowledge, and presents four categories of potential questions to help define future research in employment and training programs serving low-income people.
Introducing the MyGoals Demonstration
The MyGoals for Employment Success demonstration uses executive skills coaching to help participants with emotional control, stress tolerance, time management, organization, flexibility, and persistence, which are vital to success in the workplace. Research showing that poverty causes stress and impedes these skills informs the approach of this pilot program.
Costs, Benefits, and Impacts from the WorkAdvance Demonstration
WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs, concentrating on demand-driven skills training and identifiable career pathways. Findings show the approach increased earnings and led to advancement gains over time at the most successful study sites. One program, Per Scholas, boosted earnings by 20 percent in the last year of follow-up.
Interim Findings from the Paycheck Plus Demonstration in Atlanta
The Earned Income Tax Credit reduces poverty for many low-income families but does little for workers without dependent children. Paycheck Plus, being tested in New York City and Atlanta, offers an expanded credit to this population. This report presents its two-year impacts on employment, earnings, and income in Atlanta.
Ongoing Implementation Experiences
Households receiving federal rental subsidies struggle to become self-sufficient. Jobs Plus provides grants to public housing agencies to offer tenants employment-related services, rent-based work incentives, and community support for work. This report examines a second round of Jobs Plus implementation, including evolving program operations, challenges, resident participation, and technical assistance.
Lessons on Adapting Interventions for Young People Experiencing Homelessness or Systems Involvement
Young people who experience homelessness or involvement in foster care or justice systems face unique challenges. The Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)TM initiative aims to help this population reach its full potential. An MDRC evaluation of two programs adapted by 10 LEAP grantees will contribute knowledge to this field.
Implementing Individual Placement and Support in a Workforce Setting
Breaking Barriers was a San Diego-based program that provided employment services to low-income individuals with a range of disabilities or other health conditions. Preliminary analyses based on a survey found that the program did not have an impact on the primary outcomes measured — employment, length of employment, and total earnings — during a 15-month follow-up period.
Learning from the New York City Demonstration (2016-2018)
A change in state law presents an opportunity for organizations to access administrative wage data to help evaluate and improve their workforce programs. This guide, based on lessons from the Change Capital Fund economic mobility initiative, explains some of the challenges involved and offers practical advice for interested community organizations.