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Author:Ruder, Alexander 

Discussion Paper
What Works at Scale? A Framework to Scale Up Workforce Development Programs

Workforce development policymakers have access to a growing catalog of training programs evaluated with rigorous randomized controlled trials. This evidence base identifies programs that work in specific geographic and temporal contexts but may not necessarily work in other contexts or at a scale sufficient to meet regional workforce needs. The author examines a sample of recent randomized controlled trials of workforce development programs and reports to what extent this body of evidence informs policymakers about what works at scale. The author finds that most programs are implemented at a ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2019-1

Amid the COVID-19 Crisis, a Tale of Two Cities

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in both a major public health crisis and a major economic crisis. The economic impact is coming primarily via social distancing (or stay-in-place) restrictions that have resulted in the temporary closing of nonessential businesses in many parts of the country. As a result, millions of workers have been laid off or furloughed. Unemployment claims for the week ending March 21 totaled more than 3 million—the highest number of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the series at that time. That record was broken quickly. For the week ending March ...
Macroblog

Discussion Paper
Restructuring the Eligibility Policies of the Child Care and Development Fund to Address Benefit Cliffs and Affordability: Florida as a Case Study

This paper explores how the current eligibility policies of the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) create benefits cliffs that act as barriers to economic self-sufficiency. By examining Florida data and policies, the authors demonstrate how the program’s existing co-payment schedule affects the same hypothetical family living in two contrasting Florida counties: one with state median living costs and one with high living costs. The authors find that the CCDF income eligibility exit threshold is too low, particularly in high-cost counties. That occurs because the exit threshold ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2021-01

Discussion Paper
Promising Workforce Development Approaches

On November 9, 2018, at the New York Fed, three expert panels discussed promising approaches to investing in workforce development as part of the launch of the three-volume book Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers. Read highlights from the discussions below.
Workforce Currents , Paper 2019-02

Discussion Paper
Benefits Cliffs and the Financial Incentives for Career Advancement: A Case Study of the Health Care Services Career Pathway

Benefits cliffs, which occur when earnings gains are offset by the loss of public benefits, have long been recognized to create financial disincentives for low-income individuals to earn more income. In this paper, the authors develop a new methodology to study benefits cliffs in the context of career advancement. The authors illustrate the change in net financial resources for an individual pursuing the health care services career pathway from certified nursing assistant (CNA) to licensed practical nurse (LPN) to registered nurse (RN). Accounting for increases in taxes and the loss of public ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2020-1

Discussion Paper
Benefits Cliffs as a Barrier to Career Advancement for Low-Income Adults: Insights from Employment Services Providers

How do employment service providers explain benefits cliffs to clients who want to advance in their careers? To answer this question, the authors conducted three focus groups with a range of employment service providers. Focus group participants report that counselors and clients struggle to manage benefits loss because of a lack of clarity on program rules and difficulty finding appropriate jobs that pay enough to outweigh the loss of benefits. When advising clients about career advancement, counselors use a range of intake processes to determine clients’ immediate needs and assess their ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2020-2

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