The 2014 Farm Bill authorized grants for up to 10 pilot sites to develop and test innovative employment and training (E&T) strategies designed to raise employment, increase earnings, and reduce reliance on public assistance. This study involves a rigorous evaluation of the 10 pilot projects to measure their impact on (1) helping participants find and retain employment, (2) increasing household income, (3) reducing reliance on public assistance, and (4) improving other measures of household well-being.
The multisite random assignment evaluation has four primary research components:
- Implementation analysis to document the context, design, and operations of each pilot and identify challenges encountered and lessons learned to improve policy and practice
- Impact evaluation to estimate the short- and long-term impacts of each pilot on employment, earnings, and reliance on public assistance and additional outcomes
- Participation and entry effects analysis to examine the characteristics and service paths of pilot participants and the control group and assessment of whether the pilots affect entry into, exit from, and the overall level of SNAP participation in areas where the pilots operate
- Cost-benefit analysis to determine the total and component costs of each pilot and an estimate of the return on each dollar invested in the pilot services
For this study, Insight works with Mathematica Policy Research to—
- Assist in the selection and support of pilot projects.
- Provide technical assistance, training, and monitoring of pilot projects.
- Conduct site visits to complete in-depth interviews with staff at all levels, structured observations of operations, and focus groups with E&T participants and to collect grantee documents.
- Collect SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Medicaid administrative data on employment, earnings, and public assistance benefits quarterly from 10 states, and process and build analytic files based on the data.
Final report, 2021