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[IWS] DOL: FORMATIVE EVALUATION OF JOB CLUBS OPERATED BY FAITH- AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS: FINDINGS FROM SITE VISITS AND OPTIONS FOR FUTURE EVALUATION [20 May 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

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Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

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This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/iws/news-bureau/support.html

 

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

 

FORMATIVE EVALUATION OF JOB CLUBS OPERATED BY FAITH- AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS: FINDINGS FROM SITE VISITS AND OPTIONS FOR FUTURE EVALUATION

FINAL REPORT May 2014 [20 May 2014]

http://www.dol.gov/asp/evaluation/reports/Job_Clubs_Evaluation-Final_Report-May.pdf

[full-text, 164 pages]

 

See also Blog on

Job Clubs Under the Microscope

http://social.dol.gov/blog/job-clubs-under-the-microscope/

 

ABSTRACT

Over the past several decades, job search support groups, commonly referred to as “job

clubs,” have evolved into one of several important activities used by the public workforce system

and faith- and community-based organizations to enhance worker readiness and employability,

as well as to provide ongoing support to unemployed and underemployed individuals as they

search for jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO)

contracted in September 2012 with Capital Research Corporation, Inc. and George Washington University

to conduct an assessment of job clubs sponsored by faith-based and community-based organizations (FBOs/CBOs).

The overall purpose of this evaluation effort was to systematically describe the key characteristics of job clubs

being offered by a range of faith- and community-based organizations, document how they differ from and are

similar to the job clubs operated by publicly-funded workforce agencies (such as at American Job Centers [AJCs]), and

identify potential approaches that might be used for more rigorous formal evaluation of impacts and effectiveness.

Findings from the telephone interviews with stakeholders and in-person interviews with

facilitators during the site visits indicate that job clubs operated by FBOs, CBOs and public

workforce agencies are alike in many ways, with all of them emphasizing the critical importance

of: (1) networking during the job search; (2) offering ongoing peer support and sharing of

similar experiences among participants; and (3) providing instruction and guidance on the basics

of the job search process (e.g., elevator pitches, resume development, job interview practice).

Noteworthy differences between the FBO/CBO job clubs and those operated by public

workforce agencies are related to staffing patterns and available resources for program

operations and services. While public workforce agency job clubs are led by paid professional

staff, supported by the full complement of workshops, activities, and other services typically

available through AJCs/One-Stop Centers, FBO/CBO job clubs, in most cases, operate with

limited budgets or no funding whatsoever. Additionally, compared with public sector agencies,

FBOs/CBOs typically collect little in the way of participant-level data, such as participant

identifiers, demographic characteristics, service receipt, or outcomes. Finally, although this

report suggests several approaches to future rigorous experimental/non-experimental and

process/implementation evaluation of FBO/CBO-sponsored job clubs, there are likely to be

formidable challenges to implementation of rigorous evaluation methods because these job clubs

rarely collect identifying information on participants, such as Social Security numbers, and are

generally opposed to random assignment for their programs.

 

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................................. iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................ iv

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .......................................................................................................... v

 

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................... 1

 

A. BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................ 1

 

B. STUDY OBJECTIVES, METHODOLOGY, AND ORGANIZATION OF REPORT ................................... 5

 

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON FAITH-BASED AND COMMUNITY-BASED SPONSORED JOB CLUBS ........ 1

 

A. REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON JOB SEARCH AND JOB CLUBS PROVIDED BY THE PUBLIC WORKFORCE SYSTEM ................... 1

1. Job Search Theory ............................................................................................................ 1

2. Research Findings on Job Clubs ...................................................................................... 6

 

B. REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON JOB SEARCH AND EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING-RELATED ASSISTANCE PROVIDED BY FBO/CBOs ....................... 12

1. Extent of FBO/CBO-Affiliated Job Clubs ..................................................................... 12

2. Background on Curriculum Used in FBOC-Affiliated Job Clubs ................................. 14

3. Research Findings on Employment and Training Services Provided by FBO/CBOs ... 18

4. Research Findings About Other Human Services Provided by FBO/CBOs ................. 20

 

C. IMPLICATIONS OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW FOR EVALUATION OF FBO/CBO-SPONSORED JOB CLUBS ........................... 25

 

CHAPTER 3: KEY FINDING FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN .......................... 28

 

A. KEY FINDINGS FROM INTERVIEWS WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS .............. 28

 

B. KEY FINDINGS FROM SITE VISITS TO JOB CLUBS IN SIX LOCAL AREAS ................................................. 37

1. Overview of Job Clubs Visited ...................................................................................... 38

2. Numbers and Types of Job Seekers Served by Job Clubs ............................................. 45

3. Job Club Structure and Format ...................................................................................... 54

4. Funding and Funding Sources ........................................................................................ 70

5. Job Club Participant Data Collection and Views on Evaluation.................................... 73

 

C. CONCLUSIONS .............................................................................................................. 80

CHAPTER 4: ALTERNATIVE EVALUATION DESIGNS FOR POTENTIAL FUTURE RIGOROUS STUDY OF FBO/CBO-SPONSORED JOB CLUBS ........................................ 84

 

A. POTENTIAL OUTCOME AND EXPLANATORY VARIABLES FOR EXPERIMENTAL AND NON-EXPERIMENTAL EVALUATIONS OF FBO/CBO-SPONSORED JOB CLUBS ...................... 85

 

B. POTENTIAL EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH DESIGNS FOR EVALUATING FBO/CBO JOB CLUBS .................................................. 88

1. Types of Experiments .................................................................................................... 89

2. Applying Experimental Methods to the Rigorous Evaluation of FBO/CBO-Sponsored Job Clubs ...................................................... 90

 

C. POTENTIAL NON-EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH DESIGNS FOR EVALUATING FBO/CBO JOB CLUBS ...................................... 92

1. Instrumental Variables Using “Randomized Encouragement” ...................................... 92

2. Propensity Score Matching (PSM) ................................................................................ 95

 

D. POTENTIAL PROCESS/IMPLEMENTATION EVALUATION DESIGNS FOR EVALUATING FBO/CBO-SPONSORED JOB CLUBS ..................... 97

1. Site Visits ....................................................................................................................... 99

2. Focus Groups with Job Club Participants .................................................................... 101

3. Customer Satisfaction and Participant Follow-up Surveys .......................................... 103

4. Job Club Participant Tracking System ......................................................................... 105

 

E. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE EVALUATION OF FBO/CBO JOB CLUBS ...................................................... 106

 

APPENDICES ........................................................................................................................... 109

APPENDIX A: JOB CLUB EVALUATIONSTAKEHOLDER DISCUSSION GUIDE .. 110

APPENDIX B: JOB CLUB EVALUATIONSITE VISIT INTERVIEW GUIDE

FBO/CBO-OPERATED JOB CLUBS .................................................................................... 113

APPENDIX C: JOB CLUB EVALUATION SITE VISIT INTERVIEW GUIDE –

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD (WIB)/AMERICAN JOB CENTER (AJC)

OPERATED JOB CLUBS ....................................................................................................... 121

APPENDIX D: REFERENCES .............................................................................................. 130

APPENDIX E: OVERVIEW OF PARTICIPANT DATA COLLECTION AND

EVALUATION OF JOB CLUBS BASED ON SITE VISITS .............................................. 137

APPENDIX F: SAMPLE JOB CLUB PARTICIPANT FORMS FOR TRACKING

PARTICIPANT CHARACTERISTICS, SERVICES RECEIVED, AND OUTCOMES .. 141

APPENDIX G: POLICY BRIEF – PROMISING PRACTICES IDENTIFIED IN JOB

CLUBS OPERATED BY FAITH- AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS ... 144

 

 

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This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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