The Assessing Enhanced Transitional Employment Programs (ETE) project identified and described operating employment-focused programs that helped individuals who faced significant employment challenges by providing transitional employment or work experience that built the skills and capacity of participants through a supportive environment that included close supervision, peer supports, and progressive performance expectations, and linkage or provision of needed services as well as other methods. The project provided detailed descriptions of the programs identified, an assessment of program capacity and the feasibility of expanding existing programs to serve more participants, and, if not now served, TANF recipients with significant employment barriers; suggestions on how these programs might be replicated in other State/local settings; and an assessment of the feasibility of conducting a large-scale evaluation of such employment strategies, including an impact evaluation based on an experimental design.
The major research questions included: (1) To what extent were programs operated nationwide similar to the Supported Work Programs evaluated under the previous national demonstration and evaluation? (2) What were the guiding principles on which the programs were developed and operate? (3) What were the major "supportive" or "transitional" features or components used within the programs to address the needs of those requiring a more supportive employment environment to sustain employment, including the provision of specific services to address individual or family issues that interfered with sustained employment? (4) What were the characteristics of these programs (e.g., the types of sponsoring organizations, mission of organization, other programs operating in same organization, size of programs, capacity of programs, age of programs, staff qualifications, staffing levels or allocation, collaborating entities or agencies? (5) Could programs be expanded to include more participants or TANF recipients? (6) Could program models be replicated in other sites? (7) What was the "program" (e.g., the sequence of events for participants engaged in the program, the component parts of the program, services provided, allowable length of program, average stay in program by participants)?