Building Better Programs

OPRE – Testing the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs

Launched in 2010, the Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration evaluation from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration evaluation from the Department of Labor are studying 13 subsidized employment programs in 10 locations across the United States. The programs encompass three broad categories: Modified Transitional Jobs Models, Wage Subsidy Models, and Hybrid Models.

The goal of these complementary large-scale projects is to evaluate the effectiveness of the latest generation of subsidized employment models that aim to improve participants’ long-term success in the labor market. This report introduces the projects and presents some preliminary findings about implementation of the demonstrations.

At this early stage, a few cross-cutting themes stand out:

  • Most programs struggled initially to meet their recruitment targets due to somewhat narrow eligibility criteria, selective screening protocols, inadequate referral partner-ships, or a combination of these factors. Ultimately, the programs were able to meet their goals.
  • Programs were better able to place participants into fully subsidized, temporary jobs than into subsidized, permanent positions.
  • The policies and practices of the criminal justice, public assistance, and child support systems may affect the outcomes of both pro-gram and control group members.

In 2016, the ETJD and STED evaluations will begin to release interim study results.

Testing the Next Generation of Subsidized Employment Programs