A successful career and the financial stability that comes with it are central to the American dream. But not everyone in or entering the workforce has the education and training necessary to achieve their goals. Mathematica Policy Research is conducting new work to help individuals with barriers to employment succeed in the labor market. These projects will help government agencies and nonprofit organizations provide education, training, and employment services more effectively.
The new studies are looking at:
- Strengthening Working Families Initiatives. Under these initiatives funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), public–private partnerships collaborate to address parents’ training and supportive service requirements and to create sustainable local changes that help families navigate the workforce and child care systems simultaneously. Mathematica and its partner, the Urban Institute, are providing technical assistance to increase grantees’ capacity to assess challenges and needs. We are also helping grantees align workforce and child care systems; identify creative, workable strategies for systems change; and implement those strategies and monitor success.
- State Apprenticeship Expansion. This study for DOL focuses on the progress that state grantees and national contractors are making as part of the nation’s efforts to expand registered apprenticeships. Mathematica and team members from the Urban Institute and Social Policy Research Associates are surveying states and interviewing grantees and contractors to understand their accomplishments, challenges, and strategies used in efforts to expand apprenticeships.
- Reentry Employment Opportunities. Providing reentry services for people returning to society after involvement with the justice system places a heavy burden on our nation’s support systems. For DOL, Mathematica is identifying innovative practices that Reentry Employment Opportunity grantees use to address this issue and estimate the impact of these approaches on participant outcomes. The Reentry Employment Opportunity program aims to improve employment outcomes and workforce readiness for people with prior justice system involvement through employment services, case management, and other supportive services, including legal assistance. With our partner Social Policy Research Associates, we are building evidence about effective strategies to facilitate successful reentry into the community.
- Colorado Works Front Range Subsidized Training & Employment Program (STEP) Alliance. Mathematica continues to provide evidence-based technical assistance to Colorado Works (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) programs through the newly formed Front Range STEP Alliance, including Arapahoe/Douglas Works!, Pikes Peak Workforce Center (El Paso and Teller counties), Jefferson County Department of Human Services, Workforce Boulder County, and the Larimer County Workforce Center. In partnership with Mathematica, these counties are exploring opportunities to embed and test a coaching approach for goal achievement into a new subsidized training and employment initiative with local employers. From January 2018 to June 2019, the alliance seeks to serve more than 360 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families clients through the program, funded by the Colorado Department of Human Services.
- Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. Mathematica is conducting a rigorous mixed-methods evaluation of this program, which has been helping veterans experiencing homelessness find and hold meaningful employment since 1987, for DOL. The study has two components: the impact study will estimate the program’s employment and other impacts using quasi-experimental designs and the complementary implementation study will describe the grantees’ program models and services, partnerships, and program participants. The Urban Institute and Social Policy Research Associates are subcontractors.
- America’s Promise Job Driven Grant Evaluation. In this study for DOL, Mathematica, in partnership with Social Policy Research Associates, is designing and conducting an evaluation of America’s Promise grants awarded to 23 regional partnerships involving the workforce investment system, education and training providers, economic development agencies, community-based organizations, and employers and industry associations. The partnerships aim to prepare American workers for middle- to high-skilled career pathways in the health care, information technology, and advanced manufacturing sectors. We will use an in-depth implementation study involving all 23 regions to understand how grant resources are used and how regional partnerships evolve over time. In selected sites, a rigorous impact evaluation will examine the effectiveness of promising and innovative practices in improving worker outcomes.
- Supplemental Security Income Youth. This DOL project is advancing knowledge and building the evidence for models and strategies to facilitate the successful transition of Supplemental Security Income youth recipients to sustained, gainful employment. It will employ up to 75 experts in a community of practice to help identify promising interventions, target populations, and evaluation options for youth. A webinar series will provide practitioners and others in the field with information on helping youth make the transition to adulthood.
Read more about our employment work.