Skip to main content

New perspectives on creating jobs: Final impacts of the next generation of subsidized employment programs (Barden et al. 2018)

Absence of conflict of interest.

Citation

Barden, B., Juras, R., Redcross, C., Farrell, M., & Bloom, D. (2018). New Perspectives on Creating Jobs: Final Impacts of the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs. Washington, D.C: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [New York City]

Highlights

  • 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 Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work program in New York, New York. 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 New York, NY that assigned formerly incarcerated individuals 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 did not find any significant differences between the transitional job program participants and control participants on employment, earnings, or public benefits receipt outcomes.
  • This study receives a high evidence rating. This means we are confident that any estimated effects would be attributable to Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work, and not to other factors. However, the study did not find statistically significant effects.

Intervention Examined

Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work

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 Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work program in New York, NY was operated by The Doe Fund. The program served individuals released from prison in the past 120 days. Individuals participated in a one-week orientation, worked on the program's street cleaning crew for six weeks, and were then placed in a subsidized internship. If the internship did not result in subsidized employment, they were paid to search for employment for nine additional weeks. Participants also received case management, job-readiness training, training, and parenting classes through the program.

Features of the Study

The study used a randomized controlled trial to examine the impact of Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work. Of the 1,005 participants who enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2013, 504 were randomly assigned to Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work (treatment group) and 501 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 participants were male (96 percent), Black (69 percent) or Hispanic (27), with an average age of 35 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.

Findings

Earnings and wages

  • The study did not find any significant differences in earnings between the treatment and control participants during the 30-month follow-up period.

Employment

  • The study did not find any significant differences in employment between the treatment and control participants during the 30-month follow-up period.

Public benefits receipt

  • The study did not find any significant differences in receipt of food stamps between the 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 any estimated effects would be attributable to Ready, Willing and Able Pathways2Work, and not to other factors. However, the study did not find statistically significant effects.

Reviewed by CLEAR

June 2022

Topic Area

Topic Area