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Annie E. Casey Jobs Initiative sites recognize the challenge that long-term retention poses in today's labor market for low-income residents. They have developed key elements of an operational definition of retention, including the following: no limitation to one job, but only very limited gaps between jobs; and jobs in construction or other seasonal work needing a more flexible definition. The need for self-assessment and continuous improvement is a central assumption. Sites have developed management information systems for collecting, analyzing, and reporting outcomes data. Cross-site findings are that more than 6,000 residents have enrolled in various jobs projects across 5 sites; nearly 2,300 have been placed into jobs; those with prior work experience placed in employment experience significant hourly wage and earning increases and a higher rate of employer-provided health benefits; about 75 percent of those eligible have reached the 3-month retention milestone; people are more likely to drop out of their job placements within the first 3 months of employment or after the 6-month point; and residents in work sites where multiple residents are being hired fare better than those hired singly. These are ideas from a cross-site self-assessment meeting: jobs projects involving training help participants establish relationships with case workers, trainers, and job developers; jobs projects including pre-placement training may be screening devices; jobs projects need committed, caring, and tenacious staff; and sites are developing creative strategies for post-placement tracking. (YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Education, Demonstration Programs, Employment, Employment Experience, Employment Services, Job Placement, Labor Market, Labor Turnover, Low Income, Low Income Groups, Management Information Systems, Poverty Programs, Program Implementation, Self Evaluation (Groups), Tenure

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Autor: Giloth, Bob; Gewirtz, Susan


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