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Employment Retention and Advancement Project, 2000-2007 [United States]

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, survey data
  • Hamilton, Gayle (MDRC)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Labor
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families
Free Keywords
child care; communities; companies; education; employee benefits; employment; employment services; health insurance; income; job search; Medicaid; organizational change; organizational structure; organizations; public assistance programs; records; vocational education; welfare services
  • Abstract

    The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project was designed to fill the gap in knowledge about employment retention and advancement strategies that might be effective. The goal of ERA was to identify and rigorously test a diverse set of innovative models designed to promote employment stability and wage or earnings progression among current or former welfare recipients or other low-income groups. As part of ERA, over a dozen different program models have been evaluated over the past 10 years using random assignment research designs. These models embodied states' and localities' choices of program goals, target populations, and program features, and the programs were largely paid for through existing funding streams. The programs were thus "real-world" interventions initiated by practitioners and not programs set up and funded solely for research purposes. The diversity of the models presents an opportunity to explore the effectiveness of a variety of strategies implemented for different populations in order to identify what might work. This collection includes seven datasets, four classified as Core/Final Report Sites and three from Harder to Employ Sites. Almost all of the ERA programs targeted current or former recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the cash welfare program that mainly serves single mothers and their children. The programs differed, however, in terms of when services were first provided and to whom. The Harder to Employ Sites files focus on the three ERA models that served harder to employ populations; (1) Tier 2 program in Minnesota: unemployed welfare-to-work participants who were in welfare-to-work services for a year or longer and hadn't been employed in the previous three months were given welfare-to-work services aimed at addressing barriers to employment which took into account their employment limitations. The Tier 2 program focused on assessing barriers to employment and addressing those barriers through referrals to appropriate services and close monitoring and follow-up. (2) New York City PRIDE: welfare recipients who were deemed "employable with limitations" were required to take part in welfare-to-work activities -- which emphasized unpaid work experience, education, and job placement assistance -- however, the program took into account their employment limitations when placing them in activities. The PRIDE program began with an in-depth assessment of participants' work and education history and their medical conditions. (3) New York City Substance Abuse Case Management (SACM): public assistance applicants and recipients who screened positive for signs of substance abuse were given a mandatory appointment to assess the level of substance abuse treatment needed. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, clients were referred to treatment, employment services, or a combination of both. Noncompliance at any stage resulted in sanctions and loss of public assistance benefits. Information was collected on respondents' employment status, job training, pay rate and benefits, occupation sector, health care, childcare, transportation, and a variety of job related topics. Demographic variables included household income, housing arrangements, number of people living in household, and respondent health status.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Core Report Sites 12 Month Survey File
    • DS2: Core Report Sites 42 Month Survey File
    • DS3: Core Report Sites Administrative Records File
    • DS4: Core Report Sites Sample Member Characteristics
    • DS5: Harder to Employ Sites 12 Month Survey File
    • DS6: Harder to Employ Sites Administrative Records File
    • DS7: Harder to Employ Sites Sample Member Characteristics
Temporal Coverage
  • 2000 / 2007
    Time period: 2000--2007
  • 2000 / 2007
    Collection date: 2000--2007
Geographic Coverage
  • California
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Corpus Christi
  • Eugene
  • Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Illinois
  • Los Angeles
  • Minnesota
  • New York (state)
  • New York City
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Riverside
  • Salem (Oregon)
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Core Report Sites were primarily female single parents who were former or current welfare recipients. Harder to Employ sites were primarily "harder to employ" individuals who were former or current welfare recipients. Smallest Geographic Unit: site
Please refer to the Codebook for information on sampling.
Collection Mode
  • computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

    This collection includes impact information on which programs were effective for improving employment retention and advancement, and other notable outcomes. The zipped packages of Excel files represent the data used for the tables in the PDF reports/documentation pertaining to the impact information and study results, however the tables in the documentation may contain additional information not provided in the zipped packages of Excel files. The zipped package of Excel files also includes templates of tables and lists of variables used in each table. More information on impacts can be found in the Codebook.

    Information on MDRC and The Employment Retention and Advancement Project can be found via the MDRC Employment Retention and Advancement website.

Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Labor (HHS Contract #233-01-0012). United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families (HHS Contract #105-99-8100).
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 33181 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR33181.v1

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

Hamilton, Gayle (2012): Employment Retention and Advancement Project, 2000-2007 [United States]. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.