Examines outcome results related to long term youth employment from a rigorous random assignment study of the national Job Corps.

“This report presents estimates of the impacts of Job Corps on participants’ employment and related outcomes during the 48 months after random assignment. The outcome measures for the analysis were obtained from interview data. The report answers the following three research questions: (1) How effective is Job Corps overall at improving the employability of disadvantaged participants?; (2) Do Job Corps impacts differ for youths with different baseline characteristics?; (3) How effective are the residential and nonresidential components of Job Corps?” (p. xxv-xxvi).

“The results for the impact analysis are based on a comparison of eligible program applicants who were randomly assigned to a program group (who were offered the chance to enroll in Job Corps) or to a control group (who were not). The key features of this experimental design are as follows: (1) The impact evaluation is based on a fully national sample of eligible Job Corps applicants; (2) Sample intake occurred between November 1994 and February 1996; (3) During the sample intake period, 5,977 Job Corps-eligible applicants were randomly selected to the control group; (4) Control group members were not permitted to enroll in Job Corps for a period of three years, although they were able to enroll in other programs available to them; (5) During the sample intake period, 9,409 eligible applicants were randomly selected to the research sample as members of the program group; (6) Job Corps staff implemented random assignment procedures well” (p. xxvi-xxvii). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“Findings on program impacts over the first four years after random assignment are summarized below” (p. xxiii). • “Job Corps provided extensive education, training, and other services to the program group” (p. xxiii). • “Job Corps substantially increased the education and training services that eligible applicants received, and it improved their educational attainment” (p. xxiii). • “Job Corps generated positive employment and earnings impacts by the beginning of the third year after random assignment, and the impacts persisted through the end of the 48-month follow-up period” (p. xxiii). • “Employment and earnings gains were found broadly across most subgroups of students” (p. xxiii). • “The residential and nonresidential programs were each effective for the youths they served” (p. xxiv). • “Job Corps significantly reduced youths’ involvement with the criminal justice system” (p. xxiv). • “Job Corps had small beneficial impacts on the receipt of public assistance and on self-assessed health status, but it had no impacts on illegal drug use” (p. xxiv). • “Job Corps had no impacts on fertility or custodial responsibility, but it slightly promoted independent living and mobility” (p. xxiv). (Abstractor: Author)