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ERIC Number: ED518821
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 95
Abstractor: ERIC
Career Advancement and Work Support Services on the Job: Implementing the Fort Worth Work Advancement and Support Center Program
Schultz, Caroline; Seith, David
The Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) program in Fort Worth was part of a demonstration that is testing innovative strategies to help increase the income of low-wage workers, who make up a large segment of the U.S. workforce. The program offered services to help workers stabilize their employment, improve their skills, and increase their earnings; it also helped them apply for a range of financial work supports for which they might be eligible, such as child care subsidies, food stamps, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. WASC's designers intended that work supports would increase workers' income in the short term and that labor market advancement would increase their earnings over time. WASC targeted a group--employed, low-wage workers--that had not typically been served by the federal workforce development system. Fort Worth WASC services were delivered within employers' workplaces, rather than in a public agency setting as in the other WASC sites (Bridgeport, Connecticut; Dayton, Ohio; and San Diego, California). MDRC developed the WASC demonstration and is responsible for its evaluation. Other sites are providing experimental evidence on whether WASC affects workers' employment and incomes. A similar analysis will not be conducted for Fort Worth, however, because the program was not able to recruit enough participants within the time frame needed by the demonstration. Key findings include: Fort Worth was able to deliver WASC services in a workplace setting. Program staff became familiar with each employer's policies and advancement paths, and they incorporated this information into individual job coaching sessions with employees. The number of advancement opportunities available within a company were usually far fewer than the number of employees seeking to move up. The scope of the WASC training was limited, and employers had concerns about their ability to promote trainees or the possibility that trainees might seek better-paying jobs elsewhere. Fort Worth's program provides valuable insights into the unique challenges of operating income support and career advancement programs in small employer settings. Strategies that address these challenges, together with rigorous investigation of the effects of similar employer-based services and their associated costs, would clarify whether the components of the Fort Worth WASC program warrant large-scale adoption. Characteristics of the Research Sample are appended. (Contains 3 tables and 48 footnotes.) [For "Career Advancement and Work Support Services on the Job: Implementing the Fort Worth Work Advancement and Support Center Program. Executive Summary," see ED518822.]
MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Employment and Training Administration (DOL); Food and Nutrition Service (USDA); Administration for Children and Families (DHHS); Ford Foundation; Rockefeller Foundation; Annie E. Casey Foundation; David and Lucile Packard Foundation; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Joyce Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Authoring Institution: MDRC
Identifiers - Location: Texas