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Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, Philadelphia, PA (ICPSR 33784)
Principal Investigator(s): Bloom, Dan, MDRC; Jacobs, Erin, MDRC
The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ (HtE) Demonstration and Evaluation Project was a 10-year study (taken on by the MDRC) that evaluated innovative strategies aimed at improving employment and other outcomes for groups who face serious barriers to employment. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ was the first comprehensive attempt to understand the diverse low-income population and to test interventions aimed at the most common barriers to this population's employment. The HtE demonstration was designed to evaluate a variety of innovative ways to boost employment, reduce welfare receipt, and promote well-being in low-income populations. This study tests two employment strategies. The first employment strategy, administered by the Transitional Work Corporation (TWC), was a paid transitional employment program that combined temporary, subsidized employment with work-related assistance. The second employment strategy, the Success Through Employment Preparation (STEP) program, focused on assessing and treating employment barriers before participants obtained a job. From 2004 to 2006, 1,942 recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) who were not currently employed or participating in work activities were randomly assigned to one of the two program groups. Evaluation of the programs had three components: implementation and process analysis, impact analysis, and cost analysis. The implementation and process analysis examined how the programs operated, based primarily on site visits and interviews with program staff and administrators. The impact analysis measured the programs' effects on outcomes including employment, welfare use, and family functioning. The cost analysis compares the financial costs of the interventions. Outcomes for both groups were followed for at least three years, using public administrative records and surveys of study participants. In addition, follow-up surveys were conducted 15 and 36 months after random assignment in most sites. Information was collected on whether respondents participated in employment, vocational or education training activity. Respondents were asked whether they received help for things such as childcare, getting and/or keeping Medicaid and food stamps, paying for transportation, substance abuse treatment, addressing domestic violence, addressing legal issues, financial needs, or handling their household budget. Respondents were also asked if they received paid vacation time or sick days, where their income came from, and whether they earned any type of degree or certificate. Additional topics include health status, the length of time respondents received TANF funds, and employment history. Demographic information includes age, race, marital status, education, employment status, and home ownership status.
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Bloom, Dan, and Erin Jacobs. Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, Philadelphia, PA. ICPSR33784-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-01-18. doi:10.3886/ICPSR33784.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR33784.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: economic conditions, economic indicators, employment, employment potential, employment qualifications, employment services, job search, labor force, low income groups, occupations, poverty, poverty programs, public assistance programs, unemployment, unemployment rate, urban poverty, welfare services
Smallest Geographic Unit: none
Unit of Observation: individual
Universe: The study targeted TANF recipients who had received cash assistance for at least 12 months since 1997 (when Pennsylvania's TANF program began) or who did not have a high school diploma or GED certificate, and who were not currently employed or participating in work activities.
Data Types: administrative records data, survey data
Data Collection Notes:
Please refer to these related data collections featuring the sites that participated in the Hard-to-Employ project: ICPSR 33783, CENTER FOR EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES (CEO) NEW YORK CITY; ICPSR 33801, KANSAS AND MISSOURI ENHANCED EARLY HEAD START; ICPSR 33782, RHODE ISLAND WORKING TOWARD WELLNESS PROJECT.
For more information about the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, Philadelphia, PA please visit the MDRC Web site.
Study Purpose: The purpose of this study was to build a knowledge base about special models that target welfare recipients who face serious barriers to employment.
Study Design: For more information on study design, users should refer to the Original P.I. Documentation in the ICPSR Codebook, as well as visit the MDRC Web site.
Sample: The sample includes 1,942 long-term and hard-to-employ welfare (TANF) recipients (731 in the TWC group, 725 in the STEPP group, and 486 in the control group). For more information about sampling, users should refer to the Original P.I. Documentation in the ICPSR Codebook, as well as visit the MDRC Web site.
Mode of Data Collection: record abstracts, on-site questionnaire
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Created online analysis version with question text.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2013-01-18
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