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Job Search Assistance Strategies Evaluation Presentation for American Public Human Services Association February 25, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Job Search Assistance Strategies Evaluation Presentation for American Public Human Services Association February 25, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Job Search Assistance Strategies Evaluation Presentation for American Public Human Services Association February 25, 2014

2 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 2 Discussion Goals  Introduce the importance of understanding effective job search assistance (JSA) strategies  Describe the components of JSA programs  Summarize what we know from existing research on JSA  Identify research gaps  Describe the JSA evaluation and how states might participate

3 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 3 Importance of Understanding JSA  JSA services are central to TANF programs but little is known about what works best  Past rigorous studies show positive effects for JSA services when provided as part of welfare-to-work activities, but studies are dated –Type and duration of JSA that are most effective –Job search in a changing and recovering economic environment –How technology has created both opportunities and challenges for the job search process

4 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 4 Components of JSA Programs  Assessment  Self-directed job search  Group job search activities  One-on-one counseling  “Life skills”/resilience training  Job development/job matching

5 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 5 Discussion Questions  What types of JSA strategies do you use in your program?  What types of strategies would you like to expand or include?

6 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 6 What Do We Know about JSA?  JSA is effective at speeding entry into work  The impacts from JSA are modest. It mostly increases the speed at which people find jobs, rather than affecting the quality of jobs they attain  Some evidence that mandatory JSA (and the use of sanctions) lead primarily to reductions in cash assistance, with weaker impacts on earnings  More intensive and more personalized JSA programs do not have clearly better outcomes

7 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 7 Discussion Questions  What do you know about your current JSA program?  What would you like to know?

8 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 8 Research Objectives  High priority study to determine “what works” in providing job search assistance to TANF recipients.  Study will examine the impact of JSA program approaches TANF recipients’ short-term employment and earnings, and potentially job quality and receipt of public assistance  Results will be of great operational value to all states, but especially those that participate

9 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 9 Study Team  Sponsored by Administration for Children and Families, conducted by Abt Associates and Mathematica Policy Research  APHSA, Rockefeller Institute of Government, Russell Sykes Consulting, and Don Winstead Consulting are also partners

10 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 10 Study Approach  Evaluation Design: –Impact study will randomly assign individuals to contrasting JSA approaches and then compare employment and earnings –Implementation study will examine services received under each approach, and provide operational lessons  Sites: –Large samples are needed –Looking to implement the same JSA tests in multiple states/localities  Current activities: –Determining what JSA approaches should be tested –Identifying potential sites to participate in the evaluation

11 Abt Associates | pg 11 Key Tasks and Project Timeline Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3 Knowledge Development/Site Selection Random Assignment & Monitoring Implementation Study Impact Study Data Collection & Analysis

12 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 12 Identifying JSA Models to Test  Key factors to consider –Creating policy-relevant tests of interest to ACF, the policy community, and the field –Feasibility of implementing different JSA interventions within a single TANF agency –Feasibility of consistent implementation of treatment condition across various offices and sites  Focus on identifying common approaches as well as contrasts that are most relevant to the field  Goal is develop tests of different JSA approaches; there is no “no-service” control group

13 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 13 Examples of What Could be Studied  TANF applicant JSA  Self-directed JSA vs. group JSA  Self-directed JSA vs. one-on-one guided JSA  “Life skills” training  Job development services

14 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 14 Participating in the Study  Excellent opportunity to test an approach to JSA that you might not otherwise be able to consider  Site could be a state or individual localities  Participating locations will continue to implement their existing JSA program, but will modify or adopt a contrasting strategy and randomly assign individuals to different approaches  Evaluation team will work to minimize disruption to current operations and provide guidance and support  Financial payments to offset research-related costs

15 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 15 Next Steps  Conference calls with interested states/localities to: –Understand what you think is most important to learn from the evaluation –Discuss potential participation in the study  Develop tests and sites over the next several months, with the goal of implementing random assignment in early 2015  Please contact us if you are interested in learning more!

16 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 16 Discussion Questions  What JSA approaches would you be most interested in learning about as part of this evaluation?  What is important for us to know from you (those operating these programs) about conducting this evaluation?

17 Abt Associates & Mathematica | pg 17 Key Contacts  Karin Martinson, Project Director,  Michelle Derr, Co-Principal Investigator  Cynthia Woodside, APHSA,  Rachel Cook, Deputy Project Director,


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