The Los Angeles County Transitional Subsidized Employment Program—PWE provided subsidized work opportunities to increase Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients’ employability.

The Los Angeles County Transitional Subsidized Employment Program—PWE provided subsidized work opportunities to increase Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients’ employability.

At the time this evaluation occurred, two subsidized employment programs were active in Los Angeles County: PWE and an on-the-job training (OJT) program. PWE placed each participant in a fully subsidized, six-month position at a public-sector or nonprofit organization, where they were paid minimum wage by the local Workforce Investment Board. Case management was provided to assist participants in searching for unsubsidized employment, and in the final month of subsidized employment, participants also received 16 hours of paid time to engage in a job search. The average placement lasted six months.

TANF recipients who were not exempt from TANF work requirements were referred to Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN), the county’s welfare-to-work program. (Work requirement exemptions could be due to having very young children, having a disability, or caring for an ill or disabled person.) Those who were referred to GAIN and who were not able to find unsubsidized work during their four-week job club under GAIN were recruited for Transitional Subsidized Employment if they met the following additional criteria: (1) able to work the hours required by PWE or On-the-Job Training (OJT); (2) had at least five months of TANF eligibility remaining; (3) did not participate in Transitional Subsidized Employment in the last year; (4) did not have major employment barriers; and (5) had demonstrated to staff that they could and wanted to work (assessed by staff in various ways across locations). PWE was offered in Los Angeles County, CA. The evaluation of PWE also analyzes the OJT model, and a comparison of the PWE and OJT.

Year evaluation began: 2012
Populations and employment barriers: Cash assistance recipients, Parents
Intervention services: Subsidized employment, Work readiness activities, Job search assistance
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 Supported favorable $2,154 per year 0.10 1745
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $920 per year 0.04 1745
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Supported favorable 7% (in percentage points) 0.17 1745
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable 3% (in percentage points) 0.08 1745
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term Supported favorable $-498 per year -0.18 1745
Long-term Supported favorable $-231 per year -0.08 1745
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods Little evidence to assess support unfavorable -5% (in percentage points) -0.10 1398

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 1