Transitional Jobs/Subsidized Employment

February, 2017

Subsidized employment programs use public funds to create jobs for the unemployed. This two-page memo describes how they can provide short-term income support to individuals with serious barriers to employment or to broader groups during poor economic times — while having positive effects on reducing recidivism, increasing child support payments, or reducing reliance on welfare.

The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration

November, 2016

This demonstration is testing seven enhanced transitional jobs programs that offer temporary, subsidized jobs and comprehensive support to people recently released from prison and unemployed parents behind in child support payments.

Implementation and Early Impacts of the Los Angeles County Transitional Subsidized Employment Program

November, 2016

This report presents implementation findings and interim impact results (after one year) from a random assignment evaluation of subsidized employment for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in Los Angeles County. The study examines the impact of two distinct approaches to subsidized employment.

October, 2016

In this essay, originally published in Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, Dan Bloom reviews what research says about subsidized jobs programs – and how they can be a strategy both for tough economic times and for the hard-to-employ in better labor markets.

Lessons from the Replication of the Center for Employment Opportunities

January, 2016

An earlier MDRC evaluation found that the original Center for Employment Opportunities transitional jobs program reduced the rates at which important subgroups of participants committed new crimes or were reincarcerated. The current evaluation finds that five new replication programs have implemented the model faithfully.

Findings from a Brief Study of Alternative Staffing Organizations

July, 2015

Temporary agencies have become an increasingly important employer of low-skilled, low-wage workers. Alternative staffing organizations that use this model to serve disadvantaged workers (such as welfare recipients and people with disabilities) appear to fill a need, but they must build the capacity to run a viable, competitive business.

Two-Year Impact Report

May, 2015

RExO increased the number and types of services received by participants and improved their self-reported labor market outcomes as well. But there is little evidence it had any impacts on recidivism or other outcomes. Further, the impacts on employment, while statistically significant, are quite small in practical terms.

An Introduction to the Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration and the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration

May, 2015

Targeting “hard to employ” groups, transitional jobs programs use a range of approaches. Some place participants into fully subsidized, temporary jobs to gain work experience; others place recruits into permanent positions with a temporary wage subsidy; and others combine methods. This report introduces the evaluation of 13 distinct programs.

November, 2014

The Youth Transition Demonstration identified and tested service strategies, combined with waivers of certain Social Security Administration program rules to enhance work incentives, to help youth with disabilities maximize their economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood.

Presented Before the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Human Resources Subcommittee

July, 2014

On July 30, 2014, MDRC’s Dan Bloom testified before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources on what research says about the effectiveness of subsidized employment programs in promoting work, reducing poverty, and improving other important outcomes.

Evidence from Promising Programs

June, 2014

A review of high-quality studies, this paper highlights interventions — in education, employment and training, and second-chance programs — that have demonstrated positive results for young men of color. It comes as policymakers and philanthropies focus new attention on investing more to build opportunities for these young men. 

June, 2014

This report, published by the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network, offers a set of recommendations about how to build knowledge on effective programs and policies to improve the economic condition of disadvantaged fathers.

Labor Market Challenges for Low-Income Adults

April, 2014

MDRC hosted a recent colloquium to celebrate our 40th anniversary and the contributions of former Board Chair Robert Solow. This issue focus summarizes a panel presentation, featuring David Autor, Mary Jo Bane, David Card, and Lawrence Katz, on the current economic climate and how MDRC’s research can address today’s problems.

 

July, 2013

MDRC is learning what programs work best to prevent at-risk youth from getting in trouble, help juvenile offenders turn their lives around, and give reentering prisoners the chance to get a foothold in the labor market and reduce their chances of rearrest.

March, 2013

While we know how to help low-income individuals prepare for and find work, too many end up in low-wage jobs and never advance up the career ladder. This policy memo describes what we’ve learned about advancement strategies — both those that show promise and those that don’t work.

February, 2013

Subsidized employment programs provide jobs to people who cannot find employment in the regular labor market and use public funds to pay all or some of their wages. Part of our “Looking Forward” series, this policy memo describes how these programs may be part of the answer for the long-term unemployed in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

February, 2013

The 700,000 incarcerated prisoners released each year face considerable obstacles to successfully reintegrating into their communities, and many return to prison. While state and federal agencies have mounted ambitious prisoner reentry initiatives, this policy memo from our “Looking Forward” series explains that there is still much to learn about what works.

December, 2012

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating strategies to help youth with disabilities transition from school to work. A program in West Virginia produced positive impacts on paid employment, earnings, and income but no effects on school enrollment or high school completion or on cessation of disability benefits.

December, 2012

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating strategies to help youth with disabilities transition from school to work. While participants in the Career Transition Program were more likely to have used employment-promoting services than youth in a control group, there were no impacts on work, income, or school completion.

December, 2012

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating strategies to help youth with disabilities transition from school to work. The Broadened Horizons program had positive impacts on paid employment and income but no effect on school enrollment or high school completion.

June, 2012

Using an alternative to classical statistics, this paper reanalyzes results from three published studies of interventions to increase employment and reduce welfare dependency. The analysis formally incorporates prior beliefs about the interventions, characterizing the results in terms of the distribution of possible effects, and generally confirms the earlier published findings.

Final Results of the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project and Selected Sites from the Employment Retention and Advancement Project

May, 2012

Final Results from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration

May, 2012

Transitional jobs programs in four Midwestern cities substantially increased short-term employment by providing jobs to many ex-prisoners who would not otherwise have worked. However, the gains faded as men left the transitional jobs, and the programs did not increase unsubsidized employment nor did they reduce recidivism.

Final Results from the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Transitional Jobs Program

January, 2012

Ex-prisoners who had access to CEO’s transitional jobs program were less likely to be convicted of a crime and reincarcerated. The effects were particularly large for those ex-prisoners who enrolled in the program shortly after release. The recidivism reductions mean that the program is cost-effective — generating more in savings than it cost.

A Review of State Employment Programs Created Through the TANF Emergency Fund

December, 2011

In 2009-2010, states placed more than 250,000 people in subsidized jobs using the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This report reviews the experience of the largest subsidized employment initiative in the country since the 1970s.

Final Results from a Test of Transitional Jobs and Preemployment Services in Philadelphia

December, 2011

An evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for long-term welfare recipients finds that: (1) transitional jobs substantially increased employment in the short term, but these effects faded after one year, and (2) it is difficult to engage welfare recipients in extensive preemployment services long enough to improve their employability.

April, 2011

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating strategies to help youth with disabilities transition from school to work. Participants in the CUNY project were more likely to have been employed for pay than youth in the control group. However, the project had no impacts on income, expectations, or a composite measure of school enrollment or high school completion.

April, 2011

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating strategies to help youth with disabilities transition from school to work. The implementation of the Colorado project deviated from the YTD model, and, while participants were more likely to have used employment services than youth in the control group, the program had no impacts on employment, income, or other measures.

February, 2011

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating strategies to help youth with disabilities transition from school to work. While participants in the Erie County, NY, site were more likely to participate in self-sufficiency services, the program has had no impact on employment or school completion in its first year.

One-Year Findings from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration

October, 2010

The Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration is testing a program that provides temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help to former prisoners in four midwestern cities. This report describes how the demonstration was implemented and assesses how the transitional jobs programs affected employment and recidivism during the first year after people entered the project.

October, 2010

CEO, a transitional jobs program for former prisoners in New York City, had its strongest effects for participants who were at highest risk of recidivism, for whom CEO reduced the probability of rearrest, the number of rearrests, and the probability of reconviction two years after entering the program.

March, 2010

The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work. This report offers six overall implementation lessons to help policymakers and administrators develop, fund, and provide interventions for youth with disabilities.

March, 2010

Built on a research review and consultation with youth policy experts, this paper makes the case for developing a menu of approaches for the heterogeneous population of disconnected youth, building knowledge about mature programs (to better understand whether they work, for whom, and why), and creating new programs that address areas of unmet need. This framework may be particularly relevant for the Administration’s newly proposed Youth Innovation Fund.

Background, Program Models, and Evaluation Evidence

February, 2010

Transitional jobs programs provide temporary, wage-paying jobs and other services to help individuals who have difficulty succeeding in the regular labor market. In the context of a new federal initiative to support and study these programs, this paper describes what is known about transitional jobs and offers ideas for program design and research.

Testing Transitional Jobs and Pre-Employment Services in Philadelphia

October, 2009

Interim results from an evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for long-term welfare recipients show that transitional jobs increase employment and earnings but that it is difficult to successfully engage participants in extensive pre-employment services.

Implementation, Two-Year Impacts, and Costs of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Prisoner Reentry Program

August, 2009

A random assignment study shows that participants in CEO’s transitional jobs program were less likely to be convicted of a crime, to be admitted to prison for a new conviction, or to be incarcerated for any reason in prison or jail over the first two years. The program also had a large but short-lived impact on employment.

Testing Strategies to Help Former Prisoners Find and Keep Jobs and Stay Out of Prison

July, 2009

Each year, almost 700,000 people are released from state prisons, and many struggle to find jobs and integrate successfully into society. This policy brief describes an innovative demonstration of transitional jobs programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul being conducted by MDRC.

January, 2009

The Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD), led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating six promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work. This report presents a detailed, comprehensive design for the YTD evaluation.

December, 2008

The transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities, particularly youth receiving disability program benefits, can be especially challenging. The Youth Transition Demonstration, led by Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and TransCen, Inc., is developing and evaluating six promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work.

November, 2007

After one year, CEO’s transitional jobs program generated a large but short-lived increase in employment for ex-prisoners. A subgroup of recently released prisoners showed positive effects on recidivism: They were less likely to have their parole revoked, to be convicted of a felony, and to be reincarcerated than the control group.

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

October, 2007

This demonstration is evaluating four diverse strategies designed to improve employment and other outcomes for low-income parents and others who face serious barriers to employment.

April, 2007

In his testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, MDRC President Gordon Berlin argues that the most direct way to alleviate poverty is to tackle the legacy of falling wages, particularly for men with less education.

February, 2007

An evaluation of a case management program for long-term welfare recipients shows little effect on participants’ involvement in program services or on their employment, earnings, or public assistance receipt during the first one-and-a-half years of follow-up.

What Have We Learned, What Are We Learning, and Where Should We Go from Here?

July, 2006

Each year, the more than 600,000 people released from prison face numerous obstacles to successful reentry into society, starting with the challenge of finding stable work. What does existing research say about the effectiveness of work-focused programs for ex-prisoners?

The Center for Employment Opportunities Comprehensive Prisoner Reentry Program

April, 2006

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) serves nearly 2,000 reentering prisoners a year with a structured program of pre-employment training, immediate short-term transitional work, and job placement services. This report, written jointly by CEO and MDRC, describes how the CEO program operates. Results from a random assignment evaluation by MDRC are expected next year.

The Milwaukee County Experience

June, 2003

This report examines the implementation of the community service jobs component of Wisconsin's Temporary Aid for Needy Families program during the program’s first three years of operation.

The Implementation of 24-Month Time-Limit Extensions in W-2

December, 2001

Initial Assessments in the Milwaukee County W-2 Program

November, 2001

How to Help Hard-to-Employ Individuals Get Jobs and Succeed in the Workforce

April, 2001

Building Services and Systems to Support California's Working Poor and Hard-to-Place

January, 2001

How to Help Low-Income Parents Sustain Employment and Advance in the Workforce

June, 2000

Forty-Two Month Impacts of Vermont's Welfare Restructuring Project

September, 1999

The Youth Incentive Entitlement Pilot Projects

June, 1984
Project Overview

In April 2005, approximately 776,000 young people with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 25 were receiving federal Supplemental Security Income benefits. Individuals who began receiving these benefits before age 18 were expected to stay on the disability rolls for an average of 27 years.

Project Overview

The more than 600,000 people who are released from prison each year face a range of obstacles to successful reentry into the community. Perhaps not surprisingly, outcomes are often poor: Two-thirds of those who are released from prison are rearrested and half are reincarcerated within three years.

Project Overview

In the past three decades, broad economic shifts have sharply decreased the availability of good jobs for workers without postsecondary education. Disadvantaged men have been particularly hard hit by these trends.

Project Overview

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), an initiative enacted under the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act, targets millions of dollars in public-private funds to expand effective solutions across three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support.

Project Overview

Over the past 80 years, a variety of subsidized employment strategies have been used for two main purposes: (1) to provide work-based income support for people who are not able to find regular, unsubsidized jobs; and (2) to improve the employability of disadvantaged groups.

Project Overview

Fueled by a strong economy and passage of the 1996 federal welfare law, which imposed new work requirements and time limits on cash benefits, welfare caseloads declined precipitously during the 1990s.