Panel Paper: Early Experiences in Two Large-Scale Federal Subsidized Employment Demonstrations

Thursday, November 7, 2013 : 3:20 PM
Thomas Salon (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Dan Bloom, MDRC

Dan Bloom

Director, Health and Barriers to Employment


16 East 34th Street

New York, NY 10016


Paper:   Early Experiences in Two Large Federal Subsidized Employment Demonstrations

This paper will describe the innovative subsidized employment programs that are being tested in two large-scale, multi-site federal projects:


  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration is testing seven programs targeting recently-released ex-offenders or low-income noncustodial parents using a random assignment research design.   Each program received about $6 million in funding from DOL and is expected to enroll about 1,000 people into study between late 2011 and late 2013 (nearly 4,500 people had enrolled in the study across all seven sites by March 2013).   The sites are located in Atlanta, Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York City, San Francisco, and Syracuse.


  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration is testing up to seven subsidized employment programs targeting TANF recipients, youth, or other populations; this project is also using a random assignment design.   Programs have already been selected in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and others will enter the project in the next 3 months.

 Both projects are led by MDRC, and the two projects are closely coordinated; for example, they are using many of the same data collection instruments.  Each site’s results will be analyzed separately. 

This paper will describe the design and early operation of the programs in the two projects.  It will also describe the characteristics of study participants.  Some of the programs are primarily seeking to subsidize jobs with private employers, others start by placing participants in transitional jobs with the program sponsor or other nonprofit organizations, and a third group is using hybrid approaches that include  both types of subsidized jobs in a sequential or tiered structure.   These models represent the latest generation of models designed to use subsidized employment to improve long-term labor market outcomes for disadvantaged groups.