Implementation Evaluation of the Community-Based Job Training Grant (CBJTG) Program (Research Report)
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Community and technical colleges are important training providers for the nation, uniquely positioned to develop a skilled regional workforce, but may lack the capacity to respond to the needs of industry. The Community-Based Job Training Grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, was intended to address a critical capacity shortage at community and technical colleges to train workers for high-growth occupations to help strengthen an industry's regional competitiveness. The Urban Institute's implementation evaluation provides a comprehensive picture of the grants and highlights innovations, successes and challenges, and trends and patterns across the grants
Early Lessons from the Work Support Strategies Initiative: Illinois (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: August 30, 2013||Publication Date: August 30, 2013|
Work Support Strategies (WSS) is a multiyear, multi-state initiative to implement reforms that help eligible low-income families get and keep a full package of work support benefits, including Medicaid, nutrition assistance (SNAP), and child care assistance. This report describes Illinois' accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative's first year. In this planning year, the state identified how and where to best align programs to simplify eligibility processes, including an assessment of child care assistance policies and development of a key performance measures report for local office managers. The state designed and piloted a new task-based model to improve benefit field office efficiency.
Early Lessons from the Work Support Strategies Initiative: Oregon (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: April 03, 2013||Publication Date: April 03, 2013|
Work Support Strategies (WSS) is a multiyear, multi-state initiative to implement reforms that help eligible low-income families get and keep a full package of work support benefits, including Medicaid, nutrition assistance (SNAP), and child care assistance. This report describes Oregon's accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative's first year. During the planning year, the state continued its numerous activities to streamline benefit eligibility for health programs, align policies across health and other work support programs, and prepare for an automated integrated eligibility system. The major focus of the WSS team was on change management in local field offices.
Shifting Demand for Alternative Financial Products: Instant Tax Refunds and Their Use by Military Personnel (Fact Sheet/Opportunity and Ownership Project)
|Posted to Web: April 03, 2013||Publication Date: April 03, 2013|
Despite recent policies that greatly discourage taxpayer use of refund anticipation loans (RALs), tax data suggests that use of tax refund products will remain high. The Military Lending Act had earlier reduced RALs among military personnel by 153,000, but 114,000 of them shifted to a close, substitute, the refund anticipation check (RAC). If the goal of financial services policies is to reduce costs or guide consumers toward mainstream financial products, policymakers must adopt broad strategies that consider how consumers adjust. In the case of taxes, government should assess how much recent shifts reduced overall tax preparation costs.
Client-Friendly Strategies: What Can CCDF Learn from Research on Other Systems? (Policy Briefs)
|Posted to Web: July 12, 2012||Publication Date: June 30, 2012|
The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provides child care assistance to almost a million low-income working families. Research suggests that some subsidy policies and practices can create unintended barriers to getting and keeping subsidies, which has led to greater interest in policies that make it easier for clients to access and retain child care benefits. To inform this interest, this brief examines research from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid/SCHIP on the effectiveness of "client-friendly" policies (policies designed to ease benefit access and retention) and explores the implications both for CCDF policy and future research.
High-Cost Loans Among the Unbanked (Article/Opportunity and Ownership Facts)
|Posted to Web: March 22, 2012||Publication Date: December 15, 2011|
Using tax filing data, this fact sheet demonstrates dramatic behavioral differences among the banked and unbanked in their use of two at-times costly tax-time financial products, refund anticipation checks (RACs) and refund anticipation loans (RALs). Banked tax filers are much more likely to avoid such products. Even for those who are otherwise similar in income and background, the banked are 57 percent less likely to use a RAC and 83 percent less likely to use a RAL. Such evidence may suggest the need for broader strategies that encourage savings and target the asset side of the household balance sheet.
Assessing the Evidence about Work Support Benefits and Low-Income Families (Occasional Paper)
|Posted to Web: February 10, 2012||Publication Date: January 31, 2012|
For low-income working parents, benefits received through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, and child care subsidies provide vital work support. Access to these programs has been restricted, however, by barriers relating to federal and state funding, program policy, and administrative process, complicating program enrollment and benefit retention. As a result, many low-income working families do not receive the multi-program benefits for which they are eligible. This paper provides a strong rationale for the Work Support Strategies demonstration, enabling selected states to design, implement, and evaluate modernization strategies to dramatically improve families' access to a package of work support benefits.
Who Needs Credit at Tax Time and Why: A Look at Refund Anticipation Loans and Refund Anticipation Checks (Occasional Paper)
|Posted to Web: February 24, 2011||Publication Date: February 24, 2011|
Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) and Checks (RACs) are controversial financial products used by one in seven tax filers. This report presents findings on many of the most important individual and geographical characteristics influencing RAL/RAC use, as well as, insights about product use from tax preparers, RAL/RAC lenders, RAL/RAC tax form software developers, low-cost RAL lenders, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sites. The results suggest that factors such as lack of interest income, geographic location, EITC receipt, filing as a head-of-household, income, and living in a poor neighborhood, each independently contributes strongly to RAL/RAC use.
Summary on Developing a Research Agenda on Small-Dollar Credit and Financial Empowerment (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: February 24, 2011||Publication Date: November 01, 2010|
The U.S. Department of the Treasury gathered 50 foundation representatives and researchers from academia, government, the nonprofit sector, and industry to participate in the convening Developing a Research Agenda on Small-Dollar Credit and Financial Empowerment.This summary provides key insights from the one-day event including discussions on both the demand for and supply of small-dollar credit and what participants identified as research needed to inform policymaking in order to address the challenges related to meeting the small-dollar credit needs of underserved populations, notably low- and moderate-income individuals.
Research on Financial Behaviors and Use of Small-Dollar Loans and Financial Services: Literature Review (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: February 24, 2011||Publication Date: March 01, 2010|
Millions of American households, especially those in the bottom half of the income distribution, use nonbank credit products. This credit, while small in initial denomination, can add up to significant debt burdens for those who can least afford it. Yet, the extensive use of alternative financial sector services indicates that consumers perceive such services to be useful or necessary. This summary provides an overview of research on this sector. It reviews literature on five small-dollar credit products and financial services: auto title loans, pawnshops, payday lending, refund anticipation loans and checks, and rent-to-own borrowing.
|Posted to Web: July 19, 2010||Publication Date: April 01, 2010|
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