Examines the effects of an innovative program designed to increase the incomes of low-wage workers via career coaching and access to skills training; effects of particular interest are on workers’ benefit receipt and earnings for three to four years after study entry.

"This report presents the findings from the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration, which studied a program designed to increase the incomes of low-wage workers. The program offered participating workers intensive employment retention and advancement services, including career coaching and access to skills training. It also offered them easier access to work supports, in an effort to increase their incomes in the short run and help stabilize their employment. A unique feature of WASC is that all of its services were provided in a single location: the One-Stop Career Centers created by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998" (p.ES-1). (Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: Strategies to Help Low-Wage Workers Advance: Implementation and Final Impacts of the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) Demonstration


Major Findings & Recommendations

"The program increased workers’ receipt of work supports, although the effects varied substantially across the three sites. The largest effects were in San Diego, which had the lowest work support receipt rates at baseline. In that site in Year 2, for example, WASC increased food stamp receipt by 8 percentage points and child care subsidy receipt by 14 percentage points. The two programs that were able to offer participants eased access to funds for training — in Dayton and Bridgeport — substantially increased workers’ participation in education and training activities and their receipt of certificates and licenses. In Bridgeport, for example, WASC increased participation in education and training by 16 percentage points. The same two programs that increased participation in education and training also increased earnings in Year 3. In Dayton, individuals in the WASC group earned $1,152 (or 8 percent) more than those in the control group. However, the effects in Dayton had faded somewhat by Year 4" (p.iii). (Abstractor: Author)