Panel: Toward a Better Future: New Evidence on Four Approaches to Linking Disconnected Youth to Employment and Education
(Employment and Training Programs)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Jefferson - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Jean-Marie Callan, New York Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity
Discussants:  Molly Irwin, U.S. Department of Labor

Improving the Outcomes of Youth with Medical Limitations: Evidence from the National Job Corps Study
Heinrich Hock, Dara Lee Luca, Tim Kautz and David Stapleton, Mathematica Policy Research

Laying a Foundation: Final Impacts from the Youthbuild Evaluation
Cynthia Miller1, Danielle Cummings1, Megan Millenky1, Andrew Wiegand2 and David Long3, (1)MDRC, (2)Social Policy Research Associates, (3)Princeton Associates

Building Evidence across Generations of a Promising Youth Development Program: Year up
David Fein, Abt Associates, Inc., Rebecca Maynard, University of Pennsylvania and Garrett A. R. Yursza Warfield, Year Up

Forging a Path: Thirty-Month Impact Findings from an Evaluation of New York City’s Young Adult Internship Program
Danielle Cummings1, Mary Farrell2 and Melanie A. Skemer1, (1)MDRC, (2)MEF Associates

One in eight people ages 16 to 24 is disconnected from the worlds of work and school. Often called “disconnected youth” or “opportunity youth,” these young people comprise a heterogeneous group spanning all socioeconomic statuses and geographies. However, young people from low-income backgrounds, those who did not complete high school, and young people of color are disproportionately disconnected from work and school. Beyond the individual costs of youth disconnection, such as lost earnings, young adults who are not in school or working cost society in lost tax revenue and increased social service spending.

Programs across the country have sought to address the challenge of connecting disadvantaged youth to opportunities that will promote long-term economic success. This panel presents findings from large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of four such programs. The programs vary in length, intensity, and approach, but each offers a combination of training, work experience, and other services.

The first paper in the panel presents new findings based on evaluation data collected for the National Job Corps Study (NJCS), an RCT initiated in the 1990s. Job Corps is a U.S. Department of Labor program that was designed to provide economically disadvantaged and at-risk youth with an intensive and comprehensive package of work-oriented training services. This paper considers the potential benefits of Job Corps for youth with disabilities. Focusing on 470 youth in the NCJCS who identified a medical limitation at baseline, this paper assesses the extent to which Job Corps participation increased their earnings and led to improvements in other key outcomes during the four years after they enrolled in the study.  

The second paper presents findings from the national YouthBuild evaluation, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The YouthBuild program serves low-income, out-of-school youth with education services, counseling, leadership development activities, and job training. The presentation focuses on final impact findings up to four years after enrollment.

The third paper presents findings from two ongoing evaluations of the Year Up program. The program serves low-income youth in various cities across America, offering six months of intensive training followed by a six-month internship. The presentation shares three-year impact findings from a random assignment study of Year Up’s core program (part of the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education evaluation sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and two studies of Year Up’s Professional Training Corps, an adapted model designed to enhance scalability (funded by the Institute for Education Sciences and the Social Innovation Fund).

The fourth paper presents findings from an evaluation of New York City’s Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), which offers youth who are neither working nor in school work skills training, a subsidized internship, and support services. This random assignment study is part of the larger Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The presentation focuses on 30-month impact findings.

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