Reengaging New York City’s Disconnected Youth Through Work: Implementation and Early Impacts of the…
Author(s): Skemer, Melanie; Sherman, Arielle; Williams, Sonya; and Cummings, Danielle.
Organizational Author(s): MDRC, MEF Associates, Branch Associates, and Decision Information Resources, Inc.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Resource Availability: Publicly available
Provides implementation findings and presents one-year impacts on employment from a random assignment evaluation of the Young Adult Internship Program, which aims to improve the employment and educational outcomes of youth who are not in school or work through a paid internship and supportive services.
“This report presents implementation and early impact results from a random assignment evaluation of the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), a subsidized employment program for young people in New York City who have become disconnected from school and work. Operated by various provider agencies, YAIP offers disconnected youth between the ages of 16 and 24 a temporary paid internship, as well as…support services.
The YAIP evaluation is part of the larger Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration.…From July 2013 to March 2014, researchers assigned nearly 2,700 young people at random to either a program group, which was offered YAIP services, or to a control group, which was not.…The YAIP evaluation will measure outcomes for both groups over time to assess whether YAIP services led to better outcomes for the program group compared with those of the control group.
This report is the first of two focused on the YAIP evaluation. It provides a detailed description of the YAIP model, assesses its implementation, and examines whether the program improved young people’s outcomes during the first year after study enrollment” (p.iii). “Benefit-cost findings and longer-term impact findings (after 30 months) will be presented in a future report.…The study will evaluate impacts on employment and earnings, education and training, and well-being, among other areas. Data sources for the impact study include administrative records on wages and postsecondary enrollment, subsidized employment payroll records, and surveys” (p.iv). “[Data] sources for the implementation study include staff interviews, observations, and participation data” (p.iv).
“This study seeks to answer the following research questions:
· How was YAIP designed and operated?
· What impact did YAIP have on employment and earnings, education and training, and well-being relative to what would have happened in the absence of the program? Did YAIP appear to be more effective for certain subgroups of young people?
· To what extent do YAIP’s costs differ from those expended on behalf of individuals randomly assigned to a control group that could not receive YAIP program services? How does this cost differential relate to the benefits associated with program impacts, if any?” (p.iii).
(Abstractor: Author)Full publication title: Reengaging New York City’s Disconnected Youth Through Work: Implementation and Early Impacts of the Young Adult Internship Program
Major Findings & Recommendations
“Findings from the report include the following:
• Overall, YAIP was well implemented. The program was delivered very similarly across providers and with a high degree of fidelity to the program model as designed. Participation rates were high: Over three-fourths of young people assigned to the program group worked in a subsidized internship and 86 percent of those youth completed the internship.
• Program group members were more likely than control group members to report receiving employment support, as well as advice or support and mentorship from staff members at an agency or organization. However, substantial numbers of control group members also received help in these areas.
• The program group was more likely than the control group to have worked during the year following random assignment, but the employment rates of the two groups converged during the quarters after the YAIP internships ended. The program group also had higher earnings than the control group. While largest during the time when program group members were working in paid internships, these earnings impacts persisted throughout the follow-up period, suggesting that program group members may have obtained better jobs than control group members” (p.iv).
“The…evaluation of YAIP is part of a larger effort to understand how best to help young people who have become untethered from the worlds of school and work to reengage in productive activity. Findings from the implementation study indicate that YAIP is a well implemented program, operates similarly across providers with a high degree of fidelity to the intended program model, and serves a large swath of New York City’s more job-ready disconnected youth. Rates of participation are high, a notable finding considering the many youth programs that struggle to keep young people engaged in their services. Whether YAIP is having its ultimate intended effects of improving participants’ labor market prospects and reducing their risk of long-term economic hardship remains an open question. The current report presents only one-year impacts of the program. It is too early to draw any firm conclusions about whether YAIP will improve employment outcomes, or outcomes in other domains, in the longer term. Final impact results, with a longer-term follow-up period of 30 months, will be presented in a later report, as will the results of a benefit-cost study” (p.76).