Study Details for:
Bloom, Dan, Richard Hendra, Karin Martinson, and Susan Scrivener (2005). The Employment Retention and Advancement Project: Early results from four sites, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [Work Plus— Riverside, CA]

Study URL: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/early_results.pdf (Link not working?)

Evaluation: Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project

Program Studied: Work Plus—Riverside, California
See Study Characteristics tab below for more information about this program.

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

Populations Targeted Employed, Parents, Single parents, Welfare population
Setting Urban only
Services Provided , Case management, Education, Employment retention services, Health services, Substance abuse and mental health services, Supportive services, Training, Work readiness activities
Outcome Domains Examined Short-term employment, Short-term earnings, Unfavorable 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

Ever employed, quarter 5, %
Adjusted mean = 64.4 Adjusted mean = 65.4 -1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside sample, Work Plus versus Work Focused 1,439 UI records, quarter 5

Employed 4 consecutive quarters, %
Adjusted mean = 49.3 Adjusted mean = 51.5 -2.2 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside sample, Work Plus versus Work Focused 1,439 UI records, year 1
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 Zero values are used when calculating earnings for unemployed participants.

Annual earnings, $1
Adjusted mean = 7,997 Adjusted mean = 7,991 6 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside sample, Work Plus versus Work Focused 1,439 UI records, year 1
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
1 Zero values are used when calculating benefit receipt for people not receiving benefits.
2 Positive effect favors the control group.

Ever received TANF, %
Adjusted mean = 87.1 Adjusted mean = 84.9 2.1 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside sample, Work Plus versus Work Focused 1,439 TANF records, year 1

Annual amount of TANF received, $1
Adjusted mean = 3,124 Adjusted mean = 3,143 -19 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside sample, Work Plus versus Work Focused 1,439 TANF records, year 1

Ever received Food Stamps, %2
Adjusted mean = 86.0 Adjusted mean = 81.0 5.1 Unfavorable 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside sample, Work Plus versus Work Focused 1,439 Food Stamps records, year 1

Annual amount of Food Stamps received, $1
Adjusted mean = 1,411 Adjusted mean = 1,365 47 No Effect 1-High High (3 of 3) Riverside sample, Work Plus versus Work Focused 1,439 Food Stamps records, year 1

Study Characteristics

Toggle Participants & Program Details Participants & Program Details
Participant Detail Single-parent TANF clients who had participated in a Phase 1 (pre-employment) Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) program, who had reported obtaining a job, and who met a series of eligibility requirements were eligible for random assignment into Phase 2 (post-employment). Applicants to the program were required to have worked 20 hours or more during at least one week within the past 30 days, earning at least the state’s minimum wage, and had to expect to work an average of at least 20 hours per week for the next 30 days.

At the time of random assignment, people in the study were an average of 30 years old, and 21 percent were black non-Hispanic, 45 percent were Hispanic, and 30.9 percent were white non-Hispanic. Slightly more than one-third of sample members had three or more children, and 33.1 percent had a youngest child at least age 6 years. Fewer than half (42.7 percent) had no high school diploma or GED, and 77.5 reported that they were employed in Unemployment Insurance-covered employment in the year before random assignment.
Program Services Work Plus clients could receive intensive case management and enhanced support services, aimed at encouraging employment stability. Program staff encouraged clients to attend education and training activities after working at least 20 hours per week, with the philosophy that working reinforced the value of education and training and that working while in school or training increased the likelihood of program completion and the use of newly attained skills. The program also provided clients with support services (e.g., child care, transportation, and ancillary payments to participate in program activities), social services (e.g., mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse), referrals to public assistance programs (e.g., TANF, Food Stamps, and Medi-Cal), and job search services.
Program Duration Work Plus staff worked with unemployed clients for up to 60 days after the date of job loss, and then referred them back to Phase 1 job search services.
Comparison Services In the comparison condition (Work Focused), clients were eligible to receive TANF, Food Stamps, child care and transportation assistance, and medical coverage. They also received limited and reactive case management.
Toggle Study Design Study Design
Strength of Evidence Description High
Group Formation After identifying clients eligible for the study, evaluators collected baseline data and then randomly assigned clients to one of three program groups: the Work Plus Group (the treatment condition for this study), the Training Focused Group (discussed elsewhere on this site), and the Work Focused Group (the control condition for this study). This study focuses on 1,439 people (969 Work Plus, 470 Work Focused) who were randomly assigned between January 2001 and September 2002 and examines their outcomes, according to administrative records, 12 months later.
Effect Calculation The effects reported by the authors and displayed on this site are the raw mean differences between the groups, adjusted for baseline demographics.
Notes on Reported Outcomes The study also reports average quarterly employment and earnings as well as employment, earnings, and case assistance during the final quarter of year 1.
Subgroups Studied Employment in UI-covered employment at baseline
Other Domains Examined None
Toggle Study Setting Study Setting
Setting Details The study took place in Riverside County, California, and the ERA programs were administered by the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) and the Economic Development Agency (EDA).
Timing of Study This study examines the outcomes, 12 months later, of people randomly assigned from January, 2001 through September, 2002.
Study Funding The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded the study, with support from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Study URL http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/early_results.pdf