Two studies, found on the Workforce System Strategies community describe how coaching can support reemployment and self-sufficiency goals for low-income individuals. Both resources relate to multi-year studies of interventions to encourage career and financial growth in low-income individuals. Study findings indicate that career coaching, when combined with goal setting and training support, can result in positive impacts. Read on for more insights into this fascinating topic!


Findings for the Eugene and Medford, Oregon, Models: Implementation and Early Impacts for Two Programs That Sought to Encourage Advancement Among Low-Income Workers

This resource details findings from a two-year, random assignment study of career coaching, counseling, and other interventions for low-income individuals in Oregon. Members of the research sample received individualized coaching on career planning, education and training enrollment, job search, and success on the job. While the Employment Retention and Advancement project was intended to support job retention and advancement, clients’ frequent job losses required coaching interventions to focus instead on rapid reemployment. Participant outcomes varied by project site and included an increase in the number of clients who received job search assistance and greater participation in education and training. The differences in outcomes between the control and study groups were smaller than expected and suggest other services when offering counseling and coaching services to low-wage workers may help to generate impacts on job retention and advancement.


The Role of Goal Setting in Integrated Service Delivery

Promising practices to help low-income individuals achieve self-sufficiency, highlighted in this resource, summarize survey results from 71 organizations that use an integrated services delivery (ISD) approach.  The ISD approach features a simultaneous focus on employment and career advancement, financial asset building, and income enhancement to achieve self-reliance. Evidence from the survey indicates that programs that incorporate, 1) goal setting and tracking, 2) coaching support, 3) “commitment devices,” and 4) incentives, into their design can increase the take-up rate of program services and improve clients’ economic stability.  The brief provides examples that demonstrate how organizations across the country have integrated each practice to benefit particular target populations.