Program

Oct 09, 2006

OVERVIEW

The Job Training Partnership Act of 1983 was designed to
improve the employment status of disadvantaged young adults, dislocated
workers, and individuals facing barriers to employment. Program
components include on-the-job training, job search assistance, basic education,
and work experience, and improving participants’ occupational skills. An
experimental evaluation shows that participation in the Job Training
Partnership Act increased the receipt of employment and training services, and,
for females only, increased levels of educational attainment. However,
there were no net benefits for youth, as certain outcomes that participation in
the program did not impact (short- and long-term earnings, males’ educational
attainment) or impacted negatively (arrest rates of never-before-arrested
males). In the follow up study, wages of male youth arrestees and
educational attainment of both men and women were discussed more thoroughly.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target
population: 
Adults and out-of-school youth who are economically
disadvantaged, dislocated workers, or who are facing significant employment
barriers

The
Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), which took effect on October 1, 1983,
provided job-training services for economically disadvantaged adults and youth,
dislocated workers and those facing significant employment barriers. JTPA
was designed to move individuals without jobs into permanent, self-sustaining
employment, and to improve participants’ wages. The Act relied upon local
government and business sector support and has roughly 1 million participants
every year. JTPA sought to improve the employment status of its
participants through improving their occupational skills and providing
on-the-job training, job search assistance, basic education, work experience,
and miscellaneous other services.

The
Job Training Partnership Act served over 1 million people each year.

Component Provided
by
Duration*** Description
Occupational skills* Direct
or by local providers**
In-class
instruction in skills such as word processing, electronics repair, and home
health care
On-the-job training* Private
sector firm (subsidized by JTPA for first 6 months)
Jobs
are supposed to be permanent
Training
is part of paying job.
Job search assistance* Direct
or by local providers
Assessment
of job skills and interest; training in job-finding techniques and help in
locating job openings
Basic education Direct
or by local providers
Includes
Adult Basic Education (ABE), high school diploma or GED preparation, and
English as a second language (ESL) classes
Work experience Jobs
may be subsidized by JTPA if in public sector
Temporary
jobs
Temporary,
entry-level jobs designed to provide basic employment skills and to instill effective
work habits
Miscellaneous services Assessment,
job-readiness training, customized training, vocational exploration, job
shadowing, and tryout employment
*
Most common specific services received
**
Local providers may include public schools, community colleges, proprietary
schools, and community-based organizations.
***
Average length of participation in program varies widely among sites.

EVALUATION(S) OF THE PROGRAM

Study 1: Orr, L.L., Bloom, H.S., Bell, S.H., Doolittle, F., Lin, W., &
Cave, G. (1996). Does training for the disadvantaged work?
Evidence from the national JTPA study.

Washington, DC:
The Urban Institute Press.

Evaluated population: 15,981 out of 20,
601 adults and out-of-school youth in 16 service delivery areas: that is, the
30-month earnings sample, which differs from the full experimental and 18-month
samples. Results are summarized only for out-of-school youth ages
16-21. This sample included 4,777 youth in three subgroups: 2,657
females, 1,704 males without an arrest record, and 416 males with an arrest
record.

Approach: Measurements used included: thebackground information form
(completed at application, first, and second follow-up survey interviews),
enrollment and tracking data from the 16 service delivery areas, state
unemployment insurance records, state welfare agency records, administrative
records of service delivery areas, published sources, and telephone survey of
selected education and training organizations.

Participants
were randomly assigned to control or experimental groups. The experimental
group received services through one of three primary service strategies, as
recommended by program staff: (1) classroom training in occupational
skills (could include other services but not on-the-job training)*; (2)
on-the-job training (could include other services, but not classroom training
in job skills)* (3) other services not including 1 or 2 above. *Eventually,
people in these groups received both classroom training and on-the-job
training.

Results: (Note: results summarized only for youth ages 16-21 at the time of
assignment to the program.)

Job training:

Employment and training services received by out-of-school
youth were increased beyond what they would have received in the
community. Participants in all three subgroups were more likely to
receive employment and training services than control group members: among females,
66 percent vs. 44 percent; among male non-arrestees, 63 percent vs. 35 percent;
among male arrestees, 55 percent vs. 27 percent.

Earnings:

No significant impact was found. For females and male
non-arrestees, there was no significant difference in total earnings during the
follow-up period. This outcome was not measured for male arrestees.

Education:

Female participants in the program group were significantly
more likely than control group members to obtain a high school diploma or GED
during the follow-up period (39.4 percent vs. 31.7 percent). There were
no significant differences between male participants and control group members
(for male nonarrestees, 36.8 percent vs. 36.3 percent; for male arrestees, 29.9
percent vs. 28.9 percent).

AFDC and food stamp receipt:

No significant impacts.

Arrest rates:

Male participants with no arrest record before entering the
program experienced a significant increase in arrest rates at both
follow-ups. At the full follow-up period, 35.8 percent of participants
vs. 18.7 percent of the control group had been arrested. There were no
significant impacts for the other two subgroups.

Findings by service strategy:

There were no statistically
significant impacts on long-term earnings of participants compared with the
control group for any of the three service strategies.

The
only group for which JTPA significantly increased total hours of employment and
training was young women who received classroom training (2,569 hours for
program participants vs. 2,309 hours for control group members). For
other subgroups, the added hours of training came primarily at the expense of
time worked, implying that hours of employment lost during the program, if any,
were not made up after the program ended.

Study
2: Bloom, H. S., Orr, L. L., Bell, S. H., Cave, G., Doolittle, F., Lin, W., et
al. (1996). The benefits and costs of JTPA Title II-A programs. The Journal
of Human Resources, 12
(3), 549-576.

Evaluated population: A total of 20,601 Title
II-A applicants at 16 local JTPA programs were randomly assigned to a treatment
group or a control group.

Approach: Eligible applicants were
assessed to determine their employment and training needs. Each applicant was
placed in classroom training, a mix of on the job training and/or job
assistance, or other services based on their need.

Data
was collected using background information forms, JTPA enrollment, tracking,
and expenditure records, two waves of follow-up surveys, state Unemployment
Insurance (UI) wage records, and state AFDC and food stamp records. Other
information was collected using telephone surveys of vocational/technical
schools and published data on the instructional costs of high schools and
colleges.

Results: It is important to note that the
control group did not receive assistance from the JTPA but may have received
assistance from non-JTPA sources. Therefore, the data presented
represents the incremental effect of the JTPA services compared to the
participants not receiving JTPA services, rather than receiving no service at
all.

JTPA
had modest positive impacts on earnings experienced by adult women and men. For
youths who are out of school, JTPA members did not make consistent earnings
gains across several major studies. For female adults and youth, a
statistically significant amount (11.6% and 10.6% respectively) of enrollees
received their GED certificate or high school diploma during the 30-month
follow up period, and adult males had an almost statistically significant number
of enrollees in this category.

Differing
data was presented regarding the impacts of JTPA on wages for male youth
arrestees. Survey data suggested a very large negative impact on
earnings, but UI wage data indicated no impact in this category.

Limitations
of the study included difficulty interpreting results for out-of-school youth.

SOURCES
FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Orr,
L.L., Bloom, H.S., Bell,
S.H., Doolittle, F., Lin, W., & Cave, G. (1996). Does training for the
disadvantaged work? Evidence from the national JTPA study.
Washington, DC:
The Urban Institute Press.

Bloom, H. S., Orr, L. L., Bell, S. H.,
Cave, G., Doolittle, F., Lin, W., et al. (1996). The benefits and costs of JTPA
Title II-A programs. The Journal of Human Resources, 12(3), 549-576.

Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):

Hair,
E., Ling, T., & Cochran, S. W. (2003). Youth development programs
serving educationally disadvantaged youth: A synthesis of experimental
evaluations
. Washington,
DC: Child Trends.

KEYWORDS:
Young Adulthood (18-24), Adolescence (12-17), Youth (16-24), Skills Training,
Vocational Learning, Education, Academic Achievement, High School Dropout,
Behavioral Problems, Delinquency, Community-Based, Clinic-Based,
Provider-Based, Service or Vocational Learning, Life Skills, Education and
Cognitive Development, Employment/Earnings

Program
information last updated 10/9/2006.