New Strategies to Promote Stable Employment and Career Progression, An Introduction to the Employment Retention and Advancement Project

Published: February 15, 2002
Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment
Employment Retention and Advancement Project (ERA), 1998-2011 | Learn more about this project

Welfare reform has dramatically increased the need for effective strategies to help low-income parents work more steadily and advance in the labor market. Although much has been learned about how to help welfare recipients prepare for and find jobs, the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) evaluation is the most comprehensive effort thus far to learn what works in promoting stable employment and career progression for welfare recipients and other low-income workers.

Conceived and sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the evaluation is being conducted under contract by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). As of fall 2001, a total of 15 ERA demonstration projects were operating or under development in nine states. Because the projects typically aim to help families for whom welfare reform efforts have been less successful, nearly all target current or former recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).