Program Design Manual Employment Retention and Advancement Project

Published: December 7, 1999
Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment
Employment Retention and Advancement Project (ERA), 1998-2011 | Learn more about this project

To help build knowledge about how best to help welfare recipients sustain employment and advance in the labor market, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued planning grants to 13 states. The Employment Retention and Advancement Project is designed to help states implement and refine their employment, retention, and advancement strategies. At the request of ACF, The Lewin Group has prepared this program design manual to assist states as they develop their strategies for improving retention and advancement.

The manual provides a conceptual framework that states might follow when designing their programs. In this framework, states seeking to develop retention and advancement interventions would first select specific program goals, determine the group or groups they want to target, and identify the issues that need to be addressed to achieve the desired goal. Based on the choices each state makes regarding goals, target groups, and the focus of the demonstration, the state can then design an appropriate programmatic strategy. Each state will need to tailor its program to its own individual circumstances. What works in one state may not be feasible in another.

For each step in the conceptual framework, this manual provides possible choices, as well as some discussion of the implications of these choices. The list of choices, while extensive, is not meant to be exhaustive. Instead, it is meant to provide states with concrete examples of how the conceptual framework operates in practice, as well as how the choices made in terms of goals and target groups interact with the choices regarding specific program strategies.