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- Implementation research and public assistance programs
- Workforce Development/Employment and Training
- Benefit Access and Service Delivery Systems
- Training and Re-employment
- Family Support
- TANF and Employment Issues
- Human Services
Pamela Holcomb conducts research in the areas of family support and labor/workforce development. Her primary area of expertise is implementation research, and she has directed and/or participated in numerous studies examining welfare reform implementation and strategies to improve the economic conditions of low-wage workers. Her research covers a wide range of policy areas affecting low-income families, including workforce development, welfare reform, food and nutrition, child care, child support, and the delivery of services and benefits.
Holcomb directs a comprehensive study of American Job Centers to identify variations in funding, service delivery, organizational structure, and administration and performance management. She is also a member of the leadership team for the Evaluation of Parents and Children Together, managing the longitudinal qualitative study and serving as the senior site liaison for two impact evaluation sites. This large-scale multisite random assignment evaluation of grant programs aims to strengthen and support responsible fatherhood, healthy relationships, and marriage.
Holcomb was employed for more than two decades at the Urban Institute until 2007, when she became the managing director and, most recently, the interim executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, a community-based, nonprofit organization. She participated in Arlington's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, was the chair of its Integrated Services Committee, and served two terms on the Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Advisory Board for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Holcomb has authored articles in several journals, such as Social Policy Review and the Journal of Applied Social Sciences. She completed Ph.D. coursework at Carnegie-Mellon University, where she also earned an M.S. in applied history and social science.
Exploring Measurement of Performance Outcomes and Work Requirements in Programs Promoting Economic Independence (EMPOWERED)
The purpose of this study is to conduct a cross-cutting examination of the use of performance measures, work requirements, and child support requirements among human services programs that include a focus on promoting self-sufficiency.
Institutional Analysis of American Job Centers
This study is documenting administrative structure, partnerships, performance and strategic management, funding and financing, staffing, physical environment, MIS system capacity and use of technology, service delivery structure and linkages, and program and service mix.
Mathematica Examines the Use of Child Support Cooperation Requirements
Single parents are required to cooperate with child support enforcement activities in order to be eligible for certain forms of public assistance, such as Medicaid. However, for other assistance programs, the decision to impose a child support cooperation requirement is left as a state option.