Study Details for:
Bloom, Dan, Sarah Rich, Cindy Redcross, Erin Jacobs, Jennifer Yahner, and Nancy Pindus (2009). Alternative welfare-to-work strategies for the hard-to-employ: Testing transitional jobs and pre-employment services in Philadelphia, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [ TWC]

Study URL: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/alternative-welfare-to-work-strategies-for-the-hard-to-employ-testing (Link not working?)

Evaluation: Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project

Program Studied: Transitional Jobs Program at the Transitional Work Corporation (TWC)
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

Strength of Evidence: 1-High High (3 of 3)

Populations Targeted Hard-to-employ, Long-term welfare recipients, No high school diploma or <abbr title="General Education Development">GED</abbr>, Welfare population
Setting Urban only
Services Provided Case management, Education, Financial incentives or sanctions, Subsidized employment or transitional jobs, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Favorable Impacts FoundShort-term employment, Favorable Impacts FoundShort-term earnings, Favorable Impacts FoundShort-term benefit receipt

Findings

Toggle Short-term employmentShort-term employment
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing
1 Percent employed includes both transitional jobs and unsubsidized employment.

Employed, quarter 6, %1
Adjusted mean = 40.4 Adjusted mean = 36.6 3.8 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 National Directory of New Hires administrative records, quarter 6

Employed for four or more consecutive quarters, %
Adjusted mean = 25.7 Adjusted mean = 16.7 9.1 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare administrative records, quarters 1-6

Employed all six quarters, %
Adjusted mean = 8.1 Adjusted mean = 6.6 1.6 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare administrative records, quarters 1-6

Employed at time of 18-month survey, %
Adjusted mean = 30.6 Adjusted mean = 28.2 2.4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) TWC survey sample 496 18-month survey
Toggle Short-term earningsShort-term earnings
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing
1 Total earnings includes earnings from both transitional jobs and unsubsidized employment.

Total earnings, quarters 1-6, $1
Adjusted mean = 4,941 Adjusted mean = 3,968 973 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 National Directory of New Hires administrative records, quarters 1-6

Weekly earnings, $
Adjusted mean = 176 Adjusted mean = 161 15 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) TWC survey sample 496 18-month survey
Toggle Short-term benefit receiptShort-term benefit receipt
Outcome Treatment Group Comparison Group Impact Findings Strength of Evidence Study Sample Sample Size Data Source and Timing

Received TANF, quarters 1-6, %
Adjusted mean = 99.3 Adjusted mean = 99.2 0 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare administrative records, quarters 1-6

Total TANF received, quarters 1-6, $
Adjusted mean = 5,500 Adjusted mean = 6,097 -596 Favorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare administrative records, quarters 1-6

Received Food Stamps, quarters 1-6, %
Adjusted mean = 99.3 Adjusted mean = 99.4 -0.1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare administrative records, quarters 1-6

Total Food Stamps received, quarters 1-6, $
Adjusted mean = 5,985 Adjusted mean = 6,124 -139 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Full TWC sample 1,217 Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare administrative records, quarters 1-6

Participant's income included TANF at time of 18-month survey, %
Adjusted mean = 61.0 Adjusted mean = 61.8 -0.8 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) TWC survey sample 496 18-month survey

Participant's income included Food Stamps at time of 18-month survey, %
Adjusted mean = 80.9 Adjusted mean = 85.3 -4.3 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) TWC survey sample 496 18-month survey

Participant's income included SSI at time of 18-month survey, %
Adjusted mean = 2.7 Adjusted mean = 4.1 -1.4 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) TWC survey sample 496 18-month survey

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail Among participants assigned to TWC, the average age was 29.5 years; among participants assigned to the control group, the average age was 29.2. In the TWC group, 78.8 percent of participants were black, 17.1 percent were Hispanic, 2.6 percent were white, and 1.5 percent reported "other" race or ethnicity. In the control group, these percentages were 81.5, 13.5, 3.3, and 1.7, respectively. In addition, 24.1 percent of TWC participants and 26.1 percent of control participants reported having received TANF for 5 or more years.
Program Services TWC began with a two-week orientation and then placed participants in a government or nonprofit job (paid by TWC at minimum-wage) for six months, during which time they also received case management services, job mentoring, job search assistance, and GED preparation. Participants were also eligible for retention bonuses of up to $800 after 6 months of employment in a permanent job.
Program Duration A typical participant engaged in up to 6 months of transitional employment and was eligible to receive additional supports from TWC for up to 6 months after finding or being placed in permanent employment.
Comparison Services Participants in the control group were not required to participate in work activities. Instead, they were provided with a list of community resources and were encouraged to participate in work activities. However, given the challenges associated with tracking these exempt individuals through the TANF system, the authors suggest that some may have been told incorrectly that they were required to participate in work activities at some point during the study.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation Three Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) offices recruited eligible participants—persons who had received cash assistance for 12 months since 1997 or lacked a high school degree or equivalent. They were randomly assigned at the time of recruitment and eligibility determination to the Transitional Work Corporation (TWC) program, the Success Through Employment Preparation (STEP) program, or a control group. Between October 2004 and May 2006, 1,942 participants were randomly assigned as follows: 731 to TWC, 725 to STEP, and 486 to the control. This review focuses on the TWC and control groups (the STEP and control group and the STEP and TWC contrasts are discussed in separate reviews).



The evaluation included a survey: the fielded sample for the 18-month survey included all 312 control group members randomly assigned between January 2005 and mid-February 2006 as well as a random sample of 313 treatment group members randomly assigned during the same period.
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the raw mean differences between the groups, adjusted for background characteristics, including educational attainment, previous employment, and earlier receipt of public assistance.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The study also reports cumulative and quarterly earnings from and employment rates for subsidized employment and for combined subsidized and unsubsidized employment, months, type, and amount of public assistance receipt, and TANF sanctions. Finally, it uses survey data to report on job characteristics and income sources at 18 months after random assignment
Subgroups Studied Highly versus less disadvantaged; held versus didn't hold a high school diploma or GED; randomly assigned before versus after July 2005
Other Domains Examined Physical health; Mental health; Substance abuse; Housing; Family formation
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The study took place at three Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) sites in Philadelphia.
Timing of Study Participants were randomly assigned between October 2004 and May 2006. Impacts were assessed for the first 6 quarters.
Study Funding The study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Study URL http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/alternative-welfare-to-work-strategies-for-the-hard-to-employ-testing