The SJSA program provided unemployment insurance (UI) recipients with guidance to assist them in finding a new job at an early point after entering the UI system.
Six to seven weeks into unemployment, participants were required to report to a job service orientation session. After the orientation, they were tested for aptitude and interests in a one-on-one assessment and participated in a 15-hour job search workshop. Participants were required to have at least two additional contacts with staff after these initial activities to report on their job search progress. On average, participants completed the program about two months after they began receiving UI benefits.
A two-stage screening process identified UI claimants who were permanently separated from their previous job and then selected individuals who were most likely to exhaust their UI benefits (using a model that considered the local unemployment rate, job tenure, education, occupation, and industry). In addition to fulfilling the usual requirements for UI, individuals in this program were required to complete SJSA to continue receiving their full UI benefits.
The SJSA program was implemented in Washington, DC, and in multiple UI offices in Florida. The SJSA program was in the same evaluation as two similar programs for UI claimants: the Individualized Job Search Assistance program (IJSA) and the IJSA with Training program.