Implementation and Relative Impacts of Two Job Search Assistance Programs in Sacramento County, California

Implementation and Relative Impacts of Two Job Search Assistance Programs in Sacramento County, California

OPRE Report No. 2019-72
Published: Jun 30, 2019
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Karin Martinson

Eleanor Harvill

Correne Saunders

Daniel Litwok

Steve Bates

Key Findings
  • Both the Standard and the Fast Track Job Club operated as designed during the study period. As intended, the Standard Job Club provided a greater level of assistance with workplace behaviors and soft skills compared to Fast Track, but the programs similarly emphasized providing assistance with job search skills.
  • Overall, the study did not find a difference between the two groups in employment rates, earnings, or the receipt of public assistance during the six month follow-up period.
  • Recipients assigned to the Standard Job Club reported more favorable characteristics in their current or most recent job: they were more likely to obtain jobs with higher hourly wages, paid holidays, and sick days than were recipients assigned to Fast Track.

This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from a rigorous evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance recipients in Sacramento County, California. From 2016 to 2018, the Sacramento County’s Department of Human Assistance operated two JSA programs for cash assistance recipients who were required to work: Standard Job Club and Fast Track Job Club. The former required recipients to participate in three weeks of group-based instruction on job search and soft skills, followed by up to five weeks of supervised job search. Fast Track, in contrast, required recipients to participate in three-and-a-half days of group job search assistance, followed by up to seven weeks of mostly independent job search.

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