Amid keen interest in helping students, young adults, and low-wage workers build the skills necessary to succeed in a technologically advanced economy, MDRC is studying a range of programs that feature employer involvement, such as career pathways from high school into college and the workforce, work-based learning, apprenticeships, and sectoral training.
Stability and Change
Community organizations are at the center of neighborhood improvement efforts. But how do organizational networks evolve over time, and how does their evolution affect local capacity for positive change? This report takes on these questions to advance an understanding of how community networks function, and how to better support them.
Current Policy, Prominent Programs, and Evidence
This paper reviews the available evidence supporting various types of career and technical education programs, touching on both the amount of evidence available in each area and its level of rigor.
Learning from the Chicago Community Networks Study
This report presents findings from the Chicago Community Networks study — one of the most extensive efforts to measure interorganizational partnerships in local neighborhoods. It uses social network analysis and extensive field research to ask how specific patterns of partnership promote better-implemented collaborations that, in turn, can inform public policy.
MDRC launches the first of a five-part web series from the Chicago Community Networks study — a mixed-methods initiative that combines formal social network analysis with in-depth field surveys of community practitioners. It measures how community organizations collaborate on local improvement projects and how they come together to shape public policy.
Ten Years of Chicago’s New Communities Program
A 10-year, $50-million initiative, the New Communities Program supported community organizations in 14 Chicago neighborhoods to convene local partners to carry out varied improvement activities, from safety to education and affordable housing. This report describes NCP’s successes and challenges and the implications of its experience for federal and local community development programs.
Early Findings from a Program for Housing Voucher Recipients in New York City
Opportunity NYC–Work Rewards is testing three ways of increasing work among families receiving housing vouchers — services and a savings plan under the federal Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, the FSS program plus cash incentives for sustained full-time work, and the cash incentives alone. Early results suggest intriguing positive findings for certain subgroups.
Policy Engagement and Systems Change in the New Communities Program
This report describes the efforts of four local agencies in a comprehensive community initiative (CCI) in Chicago, exploring their engagement with policy issues to improve their neighborhoods. It considers this CCI’s potential for working more actively to change the larger systems that shape neighborhoods, with implications for CCIs nationwide.
An Analysis of the Interaction among Quality-of-Life Indicators from the New Communities Program Evaluation
This paper explores analytic methods that assess the rate at which changes in neighborhood quality of life occur. It looks at correlations among quality indicators over time and the effect of both neighborhood context and conditions beyond the neighborhood, like the Great Recession, identifying which indicators are predictors of others.
Interim Findings from Chicago’s New Communities Program
A 10-year, $47 million MacArthur Foundation initiative, the New Communities Program was developed and is managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Chicago. This interim report focuses on the roll out of this comprehensive neighborhood improvement initiative and its early implementation years, examining community conditions, how local groups worked together, and the more than 700 projects supported through 2008.