Career Advancement and Work Support Services on the Job: Implementing the Fort Worth Work...

Author(s): Schultz, Caroline; Seith, David

Organizational Author(s): MDRC

Funding Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
Ford Foundation

Resource Availability: Publically available

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Summary

Describes the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) program in Fort Worth that tested service delivery at workplaces rather than at public agencies, as part of a broader demonstration that is tested innovative strategies to help increase the income of low-wage workers.

Description

Operating from 2006 until early 2009, "the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) program in Fort Worth was part of a demonstration that tested innovative strategies to help increase the income of low-wage workers, who make up a large segment of the U.S. workforce. The program offered services to help workers stabilize their employment, improve their skills, and increase their earnings; it also helped them apply for a range of financial work supports for which they might be eligible, such as child care subsidies, food stamps, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. WASC’s designers intended that work supports would increase workers’ income in the short term and that labor market advancement would increase their earnings over time. WASC targeted a group (employed, low-wage workers) that had not typically been served by the federal workforce development system. Fort Worth WASC services were delivered within employers’ workplaces, rather than in a public agency setting as in the other WASC sites (Bridgeport, Connecticut; Dayton, Ohio; and San Diego, California)." (p. iii) (Abstractor: Author)

"In Fort Worth, WASC recruited low-wage workers solely through employers, and it delivered services primarily within the workplace." The Fort Worth WASC program consisted of three components: skills training, job and career coaching, and income supports delivered via employers. (p. ES 2-4) (Abstractor: Author)

Full Publication Title: Career Advancement and Work Support Services on the Job: Implementing the Fort Worth Work Advancement and Support Center Program

Major Findings & Recommendations

Wests review of the intermediary literature was unable to identify studies that evaluated the effectiveness of the intermediary approach or tested hypotheses on effective intermediary models. Several literature sources identified examples of outputs and outcomes derived from an intermediary approach and our own in-depth site visits identified intermediary processes and some outputs and outcomes that bode well for systems change. Even after only a year and a half of operation, a number of capacity-building outcomes could be identified at in-depth site visits. All three demonstration projects have brokered and provided training to state-level and local intermediaries on a variety of important topic areas (e.g., resource mapping, data collection methods, evidence-based principles, e-mentoring). This training has enabled many organizations and individuals to become knowledgeable about services and resources available to youth with disabilities as they transition from school to work. Under these demonstration programs, pre-existing high-school-based transition and mentoring programs have been expanded to more schools and educational programs and are serving a larger number of youth with disabilities as a result. One of the barriers to positive employment outcomes among people with disabilities has been the lack of coordinated employment services for people with disabilities. At the three demonstration projects we visited, there was accumulating evidence of some of these barriers being broken down. The three demonstration sites have convened key organizations on both the state and local level to begin more efficiently and effectively to coordinate services for youth with disabilities. One major result of this improved coordination has been the development of a cross-agency multiyear state plan to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities in Colorado and Vermont. Rather than to simply use the resource mapping task as a data collection exercise, both Colorado and Vermont used the resource mapping task to further build relationships within their state and to communicate with customers and stakeholders. The ODEP demonstration projects have brought together two major systems the education system and the One-Stop/WIA system to better serve youth with disabilities in the future. (p. iiixv) (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

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Target Populations: Limited skills/education

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Publicaton Date: April
Posted: 3/12/2015 2:22 PM
Posted In: Workforce System Strategies
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