Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study's objective was to examine the impact of the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration (ETJD) on employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt in seven sites. This profile focuses on the outcomes of the Good Transitions program in Atlanta, Georgia. The authors investigated similar research questions for other sites, the profiles of which can be found here.
- The study was a randomized controlled trial of a transitional job program in Atlanta, GA that assigned noncustodial parents to the transitional job group or control group. Using surveys and administrative records, the authors conducted statistical models to compare the outcomes of the transitional job and control group participants 30 months after the participants entered the study.
- The study found that treatment group participants were significantly more likely to be employed, have higher earnings, and were less likely to receive public benefits compared to control group participants.
- This study receives a high evidence rating. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Good Transitions, and not to other factors.
Features of the Intervention
The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected seven organizations to operate transitional job programs for low-income noncustodial parents or formerly incarcerated individuals. Each Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration program was structured differently but they all included enhancements aimed at improving outcomes compared to traditional transitional job programs. The enhancements included structural changes to how job placements occurred, enhanced support or assistance, and child support incentives.
The Good Transitions program in Atlanta, GA was operated by the Goodwill of North Georgia. The Good Transitions program served noncustodial parents who owed child support but were unemployed and not able to pay. Participants worked at the Goodwill store for one month and then transitioned to a subsidized private employer for three months. Participants also received case management and training through the program.
Features of the Study
The study used a randomized controlled trial to examine the impact of Good Transitions. Of the 996 participants who enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2013, 501 were randomly assigned to Good Transitions (treatment group) and 495 were assigned to the control group. Participants in the control group were given information about other services available in their communities. The majority of the study sample was male (94 percent), Black (91 percent), and had an average age of 40 years. The study team examined the effects of the program on employment, earnings, and public benefits receipt outcomes 30 months after the participants entered the study. Data sources included a self-reported participant survey, the National Directory of New Hires, and administrative records. The authors used statistical models to compare the outcomes of treatment and control group participants.
Earnings and wages
- The study found that treatment participants earned significantly more during the 30-month follow-up period than participants in the control group ($30,329 vs. $25,558, respectively).
- However, the study did not find a significant difference between the groups in total earnings in the last year of the follow-up period.
- The study did not find a significant difference between the groups in employment in the last year of the follow-up period or employment in all four quarters of the last year.
- However, the study found that treatment participants were significantly more likely to report permanent employment at the time of the 30-month survey compared to control participants (62 percent vs. 54 percent).
Public benefits receipt
- The study did not find any significant differences in receipt of food stamps between treatment and control group participants.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The study authors noted that the programs’ impacts may be understated since participants in the control group received other transitional employment services during the study. Also, the study reports a less stringent statistical significance level, considering p-values of less than 0.10 to be significant, though it is standard practice to consider statistical significance if the p-value is less than 0.05. Only results that demonstrate a p-value of less than 0.05 are considered statistically significant in this profile.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Good Transitions, and not to other factors.