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Synthesis Report: Older Workers Synthesis
Topic Area: Older WorkersFindings:
Although most workforce programs serve older workers, few specifically focus on this population, and research has not evaluated these programs’ impacts.
Studies that examined the impact of broader workforce programs, such as the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker program, did not focus on older workers.
Early retirement among older workers was found to be lower in firms that allow flexible work schedules.
Changes to the Social Security retirement benefits appear to have been able to influence older workers’ decisions regarding whether to stay in the labor force.
Changes in health insurance provision have mixed or small impacts on older workers’ employment outcomes.
Synthesis Report: Mine Workers and Mine Health and Safety Synthesis
Topic Area: Mine Workers and Mine Health and SafetyFindings:
Studies receiving a low causal evidence rating provide valuable information about the intervention.
Engineering controls prevented injuries or improved safety practices that could prevent injuries.
Enforcement activities improved health and safety outcomes but the evidence base is small.
The only moderate-rated study on safety regulations showed no significant impact on health and safety outcomes.
Training interventions may increase knowledge and skills that could improve health and safety outcomes.
Synthesis Report: Community College Synthesis
Topic Area: Community CollegeFindings:
Many community college-based interventions improved education outcomes but few improved earnings or employment outcomes.
Paid performance incentives improved education outcomes and show promise to increase earnings.
Accelerated learning interventions increased the rates of course enrollment and completion as well as the rates of degree/certificate completion.
Some studies showed that work-based learning interventions improved education and employment outcomes, but the evidence base is small.
Career pathways interventions had varying degrees of effectiveness across the outcomes.
Evidence on the effectiveness of blended interventions funded by TAACCCT is mixed.
Synthesis Report: Child Labor Synthesis
Topic Area: Child LaborFindings:
Conditional cash transfers (CCTs) reduced child work/child labor and improved school participation outcomes but the effectiveness differed by child characteristics and outcomes.
Unconditional cash transfers (UCT) reduced child work/child labor and improved school participation.
Training/TA programs may decrease child work/child labor and increase school participation.
Food programs had mixed impacts on child work/child labor outcomes but favorable school participation outcomes.
Only one high-rated study of a scholarship program had favorable impacts on child work/child labor and school participation outcomes.
The only high-rated study of an “other” intervention found improved child labor and school participation outcomes.
Topic Area: Opportunities for YouthFindings:
Research provides strong evidence that NGYCP improves the educational outcomes of at-risk youth.
There is also strong evidence that NGYCP improves the labor market outcomes of at-risk youth.
A cost-benefit analysis found NGYCP produced large positive benefits.
NGYCP is a multi-component intervention, with little evidence on the effectiveness of specific components.
Synthesis Report: Evidence on the Effects of OSHA Activities
Topic Area: OSHA EnforcementFindings:
According to the research, there is some evidence that OSHA inspections reduce injury rates, on average.
Some recent research has strong current relevance and provides valuable descriptive information, but low causal evidence on the impact of inspections.
There is little information on the characteristics of OSHA inspections and other OSHA activities.
Synthesis Report: Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment Synthesis
Topic Area: Entrepreneurship and Self-EmploymentFindings:
Evidence indicates that business education plus additional services boost short-term employment, but reduces short term earnings, with impacts on long-term earnings fading over time.
Interventions designed to improve the development of business ideas and increase business development activities have limited evidence on their effectiveness.
Few studies examined outcomes related to formal education and workforce training or public benefit receipt, and those that did found no evidence of impacts.
Studies provide suggestive evidence that education-only interventions improve attitudes toward entrepreneurship.
Topic Area: Career AcademiesFindings:
Career Academies produced strong and sustained increases in students’ post-high school earnings. These impacts were concentrated among young men.
Career Academies did not increase educational attainment.
Implementing all three program components proved somewhat challenging.
Synthesis Report: Research Synthesis: Opportunities for Youth
Topic Area: Opportunities for YouthFindings:
Successful programs often involved a substantial time commitment from participating youth.
Many successful programs involved a job placement component or job search assistance.
Positive impacts tended to be realized in the short term and fade over time.
More information is needed on the replicability of some programs.
Topic Area: Disability Employment PolicyFindings:
Evidence echoes previous literature reviews on the challenges of generating substantive impacts, though customized supports to well-targeted populations show some potential.
The most effective interventions provided intensive, customized supports and services focused on job training, placement, and retention to narrowly defined target populations.
Interventions that provided support services or incentives to help beneficiaries keep more of their benefits when working had small or no impacts on employment, even if spending on services was high.
There is no evidence of SSI or SSDI caseload reductions, even among interventions that improved employment and/or earnings.
Little is known about interventions for improving earnings of people with TBI and PTSD.
Recruiting beneficiaries to participate in demonstrations was difficult, which limited the generalizability of study findings.
Fidelity to the demonstration model is important.
Work incentives and supports can be difficult to implement in the context of SSA’s existing work incentives, creating potential confusion for beneficiaries and program staff.
A strong technical assistance component, with incentives for service providers to accept the assistance, is important to successful implementation.
Demonstrations should be pilot tested before being implemented on a national scale.