The WASC delivered integrated, intensive retention and advancement services to low-wage workers to help fill the gap in services available to them and help them advance and increase their incomes.

The WASC delivered integrated, intensive retention and advancement services to low-wage workers to help fill the gap in services available to them and help them advance and increase their incomes.

The program provided information about and simplified access to financial work supports, such as the earned-income tax credit and child care subsidies. Retention and advancement services included career coaching and access to training and education to stabilize individuals’ employment and help them find better-paying jobs. The program helped participants secure funding for training and education costs through the Workforce Investment Act and other training funds. Additional incentives (gas, grocery, or gift cards) were offered to inactive participants to return and continue with the program.

The Bridgeport, CT, model focused primarily on providing training to participants, in particular vocationally oriented training programs. The San Diego, CA, model focused mostly on career coaching and advancing in current jobs. Workforce development and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) staff offered services at one-stop career centers. Participants received services for two years. Eligible participants earned less than $10 per hour and had a household income below 130 percent of the federal poverty level.

The program focused on individuals who were low-wage workers, reemployed dislocated workers, or both, and who had a limited prior connection to government assistance programs and were therefore most in need of assistance with work supports. A maximum of 50 percent of participants in each site could be Food Stamp recipients, and individuals receiving TANF were ineligible. WASC was implemented in Bridgeport, CT, as the Academy for Career Advancement, and was implemented in San Diego, CA, as Project Earnings, Advancement, Retention Now! The WASC Demonstration that tested WASC also tested WASC with Incentive Payments.

Year evaluation began: 2005
Populations and employment barriers: Employed
Intervention services: Case management, Education, Employment retention services, Supportive services, Training, Occupational or sectoral training, On-the-job training
Setting(s): Tested in multiple settings

Effectiveness Rating and Effect By Outcome Domain

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Outcome domain Term Effectiveness rating Effect in 2018 dollars and percentages Effect in standard deviations Sample size
Increase earnings Short-term Not supported unfavorable $-879 per year -0.04 0
Long-term Not supported favorable $3,681 per year 0.18 0
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Not supported unfavorable -3% (in percentage points) -0.06 1676
Long-term Not supported unfavorable -1% (in percentage points) -0.02 1676
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term Not supported unfavorable $231 per year 0.08 1676
Long-term Not supported unfavorable $171 per year 0.06 1498
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods Supported favorable 3% (in percentage points) 0.07 1099

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 2