Results from Two Education and Training Models for Employed Welfare Recipients in Riverside, California

Published: November 15, 2007
Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment
Employment Retention and Advancement Project (ERA), 1998-2011 | Learn more about this project

This report assesses the implementation and two-year impacts of two education and training initiatives — together called Phase 2 — for employed, single-parent welfare recipients in Riverside County, California. The first, Riverside’s Work Plus program, encourages enrollees to meet the welfare system’s quid pro quo “participation” requirements by combining at least 20 hours of employment per week with up to 12 additional hours of attendance in remedial education, postsecondary education, or vocational training. The second, Riverside’s Training Focused program, allows enrollees to substitute additional hours in school or training for hours on the job or even to forgo employment temporarily and instead participate full time in approved skill-building activities. MDRC is relying on a random assignment design to evaluate the Work Plus and Training Focused strategies — employed recipients are randomly assigned to one of the two special programs or to a control group (whose members are not encouraged to enroll in education or training and are expected to maintain or seek full-time employment). The Work Plus and Training Focused programs are among the 16 models being tested by MDRC in the national Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project under contract to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with additional support from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).