Sectoral strategies train people for industries with strong local demand. This report summarizes the Year 7 findings of an evaluation of WorkAdvance, a sectoral training initiative launched in 2011. Overall, the results show that sector programs can increase earnings in the longer term and can lead to career advancement gains.
Implications for Research and Evaluation to Inform Programs Serving Low-Income Populations
This paper discusses several ongoing trends in the labor market and their potential effects on the nature of work over the next 10 to 15 years for low-income populations. The trends are used to highlight potential questions to inform research and evaluation agendas on this topic.
Findings From the Family Self-Sufficiency Evaluation
The federal Family Self-Sufficiency program works with Housing Choice Voucher recipients to foster economic self-sufficiency and boost assets through case management and an escrow account for participants’ increased earnings. This three-year report examines program implementation, participants’ engagement, and impacts on employment, government benefits receipt, and material and financial well-being.
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.
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.
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.
Early Findings From the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Evaluation
This first national randomized controlled trial of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program — the main federal strategy to help housing voucher recipients make progress toward economic mobility — examined program implementation, participants’ engagement, and impacts on labor force participation and benefits receipt in the first 24 months of this five-year program.
Current Policy, Prominent Programs, and Evidence
This paper reviews the available evidence supporting various types of career and technical education programs, touching on both the amount of evidence available in each area and its level of rigor.