An Analysis of Vermont’s Community Service Employment Program

By Leslie Sperber, Dan Bloom

Vermont’s Welfare Restructuring Project (WRP) was one of the earliest statewide welfare reforms initiated under waivers of federal welfare rules granted before the passage of the 1996 federal welfare law. WRP, which was implemented statewide in 1994 and ended mid-2001, required single-parent welfare recipients to work in a wage-paying job after 30 months of cash assistance receipt. (The work requirement took effect after 15 months for two-parent families with an able-bodied primary wage-earner.) Parents who could not find an unsubsidized job were given a subsidized, minimum-wage community service employment (CSE) position in order to satisfy the work requirement. This report was prepared as part of a comprehensive evaluation of WRP conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) under contract with the Vermont Department of Prevention, Assistance, Transition, and Health Access (PATH). The report focuses on the CSE component, drawing on data from administrative records and from surveys of CSE participants and their supervisors that were conducted in 2000.

Sperber, Leslie and Dan Bloom. 2002. An Analysis of Vermont’s Community Service Employment Program. New York: MDRC.