Panel Paper: Learning From a Decade of Experimentation With Participant-Managed Accounts for Employment and Training Services: A Synthesis of Research Findings

Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 10:25 AM
DuPont Ballroom H (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Irma Perez-Johnson and Samia Amin, Mathematica Policy Research
For more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) funded projects that examined a variety of strategies to offer accounts for job training and employment services to job seekers. These accounts gave program participants varying degrees of control over how, when, and for what purpose the funds were spent, with varying restrictions on allowable uses, and levels of staff oversight or involvement. In testing a number of account strategies, DOL looked for ways to give individuals more choices in the services they received, raise quality, and curb costs.  Findings from evaluations of these different participant-managed account programs can help provide inform decisions about how to design or update accounts offered within the public workforce system. Mathematica Policy Research synthesized findings from several evaluations to help guide policymakers, program administrators, and practitioners in their efforts to allocate available resources, implement specific participant-managed account models, and craft effective policies related to employment and training. The proposed presentation will summarize findings from this research synthesis. It will cover the targeting of participant managed account programs, the accounts’ structure, allowable uses, supports provided to promote appropriate account use, lessons on account administration, vendor responses, and the outcomes of the participant managed account programs.