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Providing Employment Services to the Long-Term Unemployed:Insights on Program Impact from the Ready to Work Partnership Grant Evaluation

Release Date

Dec 22, 2022

Publication Author(s)

  • Abt Associates
  • Elizabeth Copson
  • Jacob Klerman
  • Jane Herr
  • Karin Martinson

Research Methodology

  • Qualitative Analysis


  • Adult
  • Dislocated Worker
  • Employers

States & Territories

  • California
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Oregon


In 2014, the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration awarded four-year grants totaling $170 million to 24 grantees for the Ready to Work Partnership (RTW) Grant Program. RTW partnerships of workforce agencies, training providers, employers, and other local organizations established programs to prepare long-term unemployed workers for employment, particularly in occupations and industries being filled by foreign workers through the H-1B visa program. In addition to the impact evaluation, the study produced several brief reports, including this brief report on the findings from the impact study.

The RTW grantees used the funds to provide a range of customized services including staff guidance on career planning, occupational training, work-based training, employment readiness courses, and job search assistance. Within these broad categories, grantees had flexibility to develop services that, based on their understanding of the local labor market, met the needs of the local economy and the individuals served.

The RTW evaluation draws on three data sources: (1) a Baseline Information Form (BIF), completed immediately before study members were randomly assigned, which collected information on demographic characteristics and employment history; (2) a follow-up survey fielded approximately 18 months after random assignment, which collected information on receipt of services and educational and employment outcomes; and (3) the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), a national database of employer-reported quarterly earnings for all jobs covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). The study did not detect sustained positive impact on earnings or employment for any of the four RTW grantee programs through approximately four years of follow-up. Even considering the four programs together, no impact is detected. Given that most program services were received within a year of study entry, it seems unlikely that still longer follow-up would detect impacts. This pattern of positive impacts on receipt of services and credentials but not on earnings or employment is a common finding in recent experimental impact studies of job training programs.

Final Report

Interim Report

Other Products