Chicago ERA provided career counseling and related services to low-income single parents who received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) with the goal of increasing their earnings.
Chicago ERA matched single parents who worked 30 hours or more per week for at least six months and qualified for TANF benefits with a career and income advisor. The career and income advisor counseled the workers about how to advance in their current jobs and apply for higher-paying jobs. Participants could receive other education and training services and were encouraged to maintain contact with their case manage to verify their work hours. A30-hour work requirement was part of their TANF participation, and failure to work at this level could result in a sanction of their TANF benefits. The program served participants for up to 12 months, even if they left TANF. Services were provided to recipients of TANF who worked 30 hours or more per week for at least six months, resided in Cook County, were at least age 18, were single parents, and could speak English or Spanish. Chicago ERA was implemented in Chicago, IL. The evaluation of Chicago ERA also studied ERA programs implemented in Riverside, CA; South Carolina; and Texas.