Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies Project

2018 - 2023

To further build the evidence around effective strategies for helping low-income individuals find and sustain employment, OPRE contracted with Mathematica to conduct the Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies (NextGen) Project. This project will identify and test innovative, promising employment interventions designed to help individuals facing complex challenges secure a pathway toward economic independence. These challenges may be physical and mental health conditions, a criminal history, or limited work skills and experience. Additionally, the project is working closely with the Social Security Administration to incorporate a focus on employment-related early interventions for individuals with current or foreseeable disabilities who have limited work history and are potential applicants for Supplemental Security Income.  

Key components of the project include:

  • Impact Study — To examine the interventions’ impact on participants’ employment and earnings, and other outcomes of interest.
  • Descriptive Study — To describe the design and operations of the selected interventions, and to document the outcomes of participants served by the interventions. The project may also conduct case studies of the role of employers and market-oriented programs, such as social enterprises, in assisting individuals with complex challenges to obtain and retain employment.
  • Cost Study — To examine each interventions’ sources of funding, use of resources to implement the approach, costs and benefits, and sustainability.

To date, five programs have been selected to participate in the NextGen project:

  • Bridges from School to Work (Bridges operates programs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. A select number of Bridges programs will participate in the evaluation.)
  • Families Achieving Success Today (Ramsey County Workforce Solutions)
  • Individual Placement and Support for Individuals with Justice Involvement (organizational partners pending)
  • Work Success (Utah Department of Workforce Services)
  • Wellness, Comprehensive Assessment, Rehabilitation, and Employment (New York City Human Resources Administration)

Lessons learned from the project will be shared with a broad range of stakeholders such as policymakers, practitioners, program developers, and researchers across the welfare, workforce, disability, education, and justice communities.

As part of OPRE’s Innovative Strategies for Addressing Employment Barriers Portfolio, the NextGen project is actively coordinating with Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low-Income Families Project (BEES). BEES is another OPRE project focused on strengthening ACF’s understanding of effective interventions aimed at supporting low-income individuals to find jobs, advance in the labor market, and improve their economic security.

Point(s) of contact: Marie Lawrence, Gabrielle Newell, and Hilary Bruck.

Information collections related to this project have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under OMB #0970-0545. Related materials are available at the OPRE Evaluation: Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies Project [Impact, Descriptive, and Cost Studies] Visit disclaimer page page on

The most currently approved documents are accessible by clicking on the ICR Ref. No. with the most recent conclusion date. To access the information collections (E.g. interviews, surveys, protocols), click on View Information Collection (IC) List. Click on View Supporting Statement and Other Documents to access other supplementary documents.

Information collections related to this project have also been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under ACF’s Generic Clearances. Related materials are available at the following pages on

Pre-testing of Evaluation Data Collection Activities (OMB #0970-0355)

Formative Data Collections for ACF Research (OMB #0970-0356)