View definitions of terms used throughout the Pathways Clearinghouse.

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Increase education and training

Attainment of a degree or credential.

Increase long-term earnings

An increase in the amount earned through paid employment between 18 months and 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase long-term employment

An increase in the rate of employment between 18 months and 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase short-term earnings

An increase in the amount earned through paid employment during a period 18 months or fewer after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase short-term employment

An increase in the rate of employment during a period 18 months or fewer after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase very long-term earnings

An increase in the amount earned through paid employment more than 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase very long-term employment

An increase in the rate of employment more than 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Insufficient evidence to assess support

We have some research, from impact studies of moderate or high quality, on the intervention’s effect in a given outcome domain. But we do not have a sufficient body of evidence to assign one of the other ratings.

Intervention

A specific bundle of services or policies implemented in a given context. For the Pathways Clearinghouse, interventions are defined based on the services offered to the intervention group but not offered to the comparison group. Two studies examine the same intervention only if the same services were offered in both cases. We use the following definitions for the services and policies included in the interventions we review.

  • Case management. Meeting, typically one-on-one, with an employment specialist or counselor who helps assess needs and refers clients to other available services. Case management can take place before or during employment and could focus on employment or on mental health or substance abuse.
  • Financial incentives. Bonuses that clients receive for engaging in a specific activity or achieving a certain goal.
  • Financial education. Education that help individuals make informed decisions about their financial resources, such as providing information on budgeting or loans.
  • Health services. Services to support the mental or physical health of clients.
    • Substance use disorder treatment and mental health services. Services to treat clients for substance use disorder or mental health diagnoses.
    • Physical health services. Services to address clients’ physical health concerns.
  • Employment retention services. Supplementary services provided when a client already has a job. These could include ongoing case management to address barriers or to assess progress toward career goals.
  • Pre-employment services. Services designed to help job seekers find a job that are not related to education or training. These can include initial assessments to identify employment barriers, formalized assessments to identify skills and interests, help designing a resume and cover letter, job search assistance, or help developing an individual employment plan.
    • Coaching. Intensive assistance with identifying barriers and goals and helping clients address them. Also known as life coaching.
    • Job development or job placement. Assistance getting placed in a job. Typically, a client visits a career center and meets with a counselor who works with employers to identify or create a specific opening for the client.
  • Sanctions. Reductions in payment for failing to comply with mandated services.
  • Supportive services. Money or vouchers to fund child care, transportation (such as gas cards or tokens), or other supports to help clients search for work or engage in a training program.
  • Training. Any training program.
    • Soft skills training. Training in so-called soft skills, such as punctuality, manners, professional dress, interactions with colleagues, or conflict management. Sometimes also called life skills training.
    • Occupational or sectoral training. Training that is tied to a particular occupation, such as truck driving or welding.
    • On-the-job training. An agreement between the workforce system and an employer in which the workforce system pays all or part of the wages for a client working for an approved employer in an approved occupation for a specified period. At the end of that time, the employer can hire the worker but without the wage subsidy.
    • Apprenticeships. An organized or structured form of learning on the job, typically in a skilled trade, but typically not subsidized.
  • Work experience. Paid or unpaid (such as internships) work experience.
    • Unpaid work experience. Work experience that is voluntary or unpaid, such as an unpaid internship.
    • Subsidized employment. Employment that is partially or fully paid for by an external funder (not the employer).
    • Transitional jobs. Jobs that are meant to integrate those who have been out of the workforce (for example, former prisoners) into the community. They can be paid or unpaid.