Jillian Berk

Jillian Berk

Director of Research and Evaluation, Human Services
Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • Employment and training programs
  • Design of short experimental evaluations to improve program effectiveness
Focus Areas
  • Employment
  • Youth Employment
  • Justice
  • Human Services
About Jillian

Jillian Berk joined Mathematica in 2008. Her research focuses on employment and training programs for economically vulnerable populations, including dislocated workers, older workers, workers with disabilities, and juvenile offenders.

Berk is the project director for an evaluation of a grant to a consortium of 23 community colleges under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. Under the grant, community colleges are deploying strategies to improve retention and completion rates and to support people who are earning workforce credentials. Berk also serves as the deputy project director for the experimental Evaluation of Grants Serving Young Offenders and the quasi-experimental Evaluation of the Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Subsidy on COBRA Take-Up. In addition, she was a key researcher on the quasi-experimental Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, the deputy project director for the Evaluation of Labor Market Information Improvement Grants, and a researcher for the Evaluation of Workforce Investment Act Waivers. Besides her primary research, Berk has provided technical assistance to state and local human service agencies to help them design short experimental evaluations to improve program effectiveness.

Previously, Berk worked as a research analyst at the Urban Institute. Her work has been published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University.

Key Projects
  • Pathways home grant
    Evaluation of the Pathway Home Grant Program

    The goal of this study is to develop design options for evaluating the implementation and impact of the Pathway Home grants. We will use participatory research methods to ensure the evaluation designs are grounded in the experiences of people impacted by the justice system.

  • adult training teens as electricians
    Looking to the Future: Job Corps External Review

    The study is looking at structural and service delivery changes to enhance Job Corps, the nation's largest and most comprehensive residential education and job training program for at-risk youth ages 16 through 24. The review builds on prior rigorous research demonstrating that the Job Corps has promise.

  • health-computer
    Impact of the ARRA Subsidy on COBRA Take-Up

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) subsidized COBRA premiums for workers laid off from fall 2008 to spring 2010. Mathematica examined the effect of the subsidy on takeup of COBRA coverage and other health and employment outcomes.