Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation, 2013-2020

The Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation features a multi-site, random assignment evaluation to measure the relative impact of specific job search services offered by TANF programs on short-term labor market outcomes such as earnings and time to employment. The evaluation, led by Abt Associates and its partner Mathematica Policy Research, aims to achieve two goals. First, ACF intends for this evaluation to provide information about the relative impacts of various JSA services and the manner in which agencies provide them. A second goal for this evaluation is to provide actionable and policy-relevant feedback to the TANF field, including federal TANF policymakers, state and local TANF administrators, and frontline caseworkers.

The project team identified three sites to be included in both the implementation and impact studies (Genesee and Wayne County, MI; New York, NY; and Sacramento County, CA), and two with an implementation study only (Ramsey County, MN and Westchester County, NY). In addition to administrative data, the study will also include a survey of participants to capture information on intensity and duration of JSA services, how participants found their current job, attitudes and motivations around job search, and barriers to employment. The participant follow-up survey is complete and data analysis is currently ongoing. Site-specific reports will be available on a rolling basis through 2020.

The points of contacts are Girley Wright and Lauren Deutsch.

Related Resources

This report describes the operation of an intensive job search assistance program for cash assistance recipients in Westchester County, New York, and provides lessons for other policymakers and program administrators interested in the approach. In 2016-2017, Westchester County operated a full-time, eight-week course designed to teach job readiness and job search skills.

This paper summarizes the findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of different approaches to assisting individuals applying for or receiving cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in finding and keeping jobs. It also discusses the implications of these findings for policymakers, program administrators, and researchers.

This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to assist cash assistance applicants and recipients in finding and keeping jobs. Conducted from 2016 to 2018 in two counties in Michigan, the study compares: (1) an enhancement to the state’s existing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that provides goal-oriented coaching...

This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance recipients in Sacramento County, California. From 2016 to 2018, the Sacramento County’s Department of Human Assistance operated two JSA programs...

This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance applicants in New York City. From 2015 to 2016...

This report describes the early implementation of the Ramsey County, Minnesota, Lifelong Learning Initiative (LLI). The LLI uses a goal-oriented approach to help recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, known as the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), set their own employment-focused goals and break them into smaller, manageable, and achievable tasks. It is based on research suggesting that chronic stress...