The TWC initiated a transitional jobs program to provide subsidized jobs to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients. This evaluation directly compared TWC to a separate intervention, STEP, in order to better understand which of the two interventions might be more effective; the distinctive features of TWC’s transitional jobs program when compared to STEP are subsidized employment and retention bonuses.
The TWC’s transitional jobs program began with a two-week orientation, and from 2004 to 2007, the TWC paid participants a stipend of $25 for each day of orientation that they attended. The TWC staff then used information from interest assessments and other orientation tools to place participants in a transitional, subsidized job where the TWC paid them minimum wage. The TWC also trained on-site partners to mentor participants in the workplace. Participants worked at those jobs for 25 hours per week for up to six months. Throughout the orientation and participation in transitional jobs, participants met regularly with career advisors. During the transitional jobs, they also participated in 10 hours per week of other professional development activities, including job mentoring, job search assistance, and general education diploma preparation. The TWC staff helped participants find unsubsidized employment, typically seeking positions paying more than minimum wage. Participants were eligible for retention bonuses of up to $800 after six months of full-time employment in a permanent job. The transitional jobs program was implemented in Philadelphia, PA.
This evaluation assessed the effectiveness of TWC’s transitional jobs program compared to STEP. As a result, the findings from this evaluation indicate the effect of being referred to a set of services that are unique to TWC’s transitional jobs or how much better the offer of TWC’s transitional jobs program met participants’ needs than the offer of STEP. Both programs offered support in identifying and securing permanent, unsubsidized employment. However, TWC’s program focused on subsidized employment and offered job retention bonuses, whereas STEP focused on intensive case management to address specific barriers to employment. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration also evaluated TWC’s program and STEP independently.