Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)

Legacy Collection

Innovation. Research. Action.

After almost 35 years Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) has ceased operations. The organization leaves behind an incredible legacy of knowledge, including hundreds of research reports, case studies and evaluations about how best to improve programs and outcomes for children, youth and families. We are fortunate that P/PV has decided to archive its publications collection with the Foundation Center's IssueLab so that practitioners can benefit from this knowledge for years to come.

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Supporting Second Chances: Employment Strategies for Reentry Programs

February 8, 2013

The Second Chance Act supports a range of reentry programs around the country, designed to help those returning from jail or prison make a successful transition to life on the outside. In 2008, the Annie E. Casey Foundation commissioned Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) to create a resource that would be useful for Second Chance Act grantees as they develop employment strategies, by distilling lessons from research on a range of employment programs. "Supporting Second Chances" offers concrete suggestions for practitioners, based on a review of relevant literature and P/PV's own extensive experience with reentry and workforce development research and programming. The guide explores strategies in three major areas:Services aimed at helping people find immediate employment;Services that provide paid job experiences to participants; andServices that help people gain occupational skills.For each area, we provide: an overview of the approach, including its history and a brief definition; a high-level summary of the most recent and rigorous research available about the approach; an example of the approach in action; key "takeaways" for Second Chance Act grantees and other programs serving formerly incarcerated individuals; and where to go to learn more.Since the ultimate success of an employment strategy may hinge on a range of additional supports, the guide also features a section called "Beyond Getting a Job," which presents three approaches to help formerly incarcerated individuals get the most out of their paychecks and move into better jobs. The final section synthesizes lessons drawn from across the studies reviewed for the guide.

Putting Data to Work: Interim Recommendations From the Benchmarking Project

November 17, 2010

Calls on policy makers and funders to foster continuous improvement in workforce development by supporting consistent performance measures, easily exchanged data, useful reports on trends, peer learning opportunities, and broader project participation.

Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study

July 1, 2010

Over the past two decades, an innovative approach to workforce development known as sectoral employment has emerged, resulting in the creation of industry-specific training programs that prepare unemployed and underskilled workers for skilled positions and connect them with employers seeking to fill such vacancies. In 2003, with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, P/PV launched the "Sectoral Employment Impact Study" to rigorously assess whether mature, nonprofit-led sector-focused programs could increase the earnings of disadvantaged workers and job seekers. P/PV selected three organizations to participate in the study -- a community-based organization focused on medical and basic office skills in Boston, a social venture focused on information technology in the Bronx, and an employer-union partnership focused on healthcare, manufacturing and construction in Milwaukee. The study's findings show that program participants earned about $4,500 -- 18 percent -- more than the control group over the course of the study and $4,000 -- 29 percent -- more in the second year alone. Study participants were also more likely to find employment, work more consistently, work in jobs that paid higher wages, and work in jobs that offered benefits. Furthermore, there were earnings gains for each subgroup analyzed, including African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals and young adults. Tuning In to Local Labor Markets also examines the strategies employed by the three organizations that took part in the study, as well as the common elements that appeared to be critical to their success. Implications for practice, policy and future research are explored; a forthcoming piece will provide detailed recommendations for policymakers.

Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study, Executive Summary

July 1, 2010

This executive summary highlights the main findings and conclusions from "Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study" -- the first random assignment evaluation of sector-focused training efforts. We studied three nonprofit organizations -- a community-based organization focused on medical and basic office skills in Boston, a social venture focused on information technology in the Bronx, and an employer-union partnership focused on healthcare, manufacturing and construction in Milwaukee -- and found that participants in these programs worked more, had higher earnings and found better jobs (as measured by hourly wages and access to benefits) than members of the control group.The executive summary examines strategies used by the three organizations in the study, describes the people served, and outlines common elements that likely contributed to the programs success.

Job Training That Works: Findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study

May 1, 2009

Public funding for employment and training has dwindled over the past several decades. Yet in communities all over the United States, there has been considerable development of alternative approaches to help low-income people gain skills for particular industry sectors. In 2003, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, P/PV launched the Sectoral Employment Impact Study to test the efficacy of one such approach. Using a random-assignment design, P/PV researchers set out to answer the question: Can well-implemented, sector-focused training programs make a difference to the earnings of low-income disadvantaged workers and job seekers? Three organizations were selected to participate in the study: Jewish Vocational Service in Boston, Per Scholas in the Bronx and the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership in Milwaukee. This issue of P/PV In Brief summarizes impacts found for participants across the three sites, including increases in earnings and employment; a more detailed report on the study will be released in late 2009.

A Foot in the Door: Using Alternative Staffing Organizations to Open Up Opportunities for Disadvantaged Workers

January 30, 2009

Despite the current recession, temporary employment will likely represent an increasing share of the labor market in the future, particularly for entry-level and low-wage occupations. In recent economic downturns, the temporary help sector has been among the first to rebound, coming back strongly after times of high unemployment. In this climate, alternative staffing organizations, which couple temporary placements with key supportive services, are well-positioned to provide needed assistance to both disadvantaged job seekers and employers.A Foot in the Door presents P/PV's findings from the national Alternative Staffing Demonstration, funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. It provides a close examination of four alternative staffing organizations (ASOs) and their efforts to help low-skill and low-wage job seekers find employment. Unlike typical for-profit staffing firms, ASOs may offer -- in addition to the temporary jobs they help participants secure -- retention and supportive services, access to better jobs and assistance obtaining full-time, permanent employment. Fees charged to employers largely cover the costs of these services, making ASOs distinct from other workforce development strategies that depend entirely on foundation grants or public contracts and are usually required to serve certain populations. In contrast, ASOs are flexible on both the supply and demand sides -- they can make adjustments to whom they serve to meet employer needs and identify businesses that are a good match for job seekers. Our findings suggest that when this flexibility is combined with the provision of appropriate supportive services, it may open doors for populations that would otherwise have difficulty accessing these opportunities.A companion report from the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston's John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies focuses on the capacity of the four ASOs to generate job assignments and serve two sets of customers -- job seekers and employers -- and explores the financial and operational implications of meeting mission and income-generation goals.

Working with Employers: Skills and Strategies for Job Development Success - Participant Workbook

October 1, 2008

"Working with Employers: Skills and Strategies for Job Development Success" offers 10 skill development modules (each 2 1/2 to 3 hours in length) that can strengthen the effectiveness of frontline staffs job placement activities. Participants experience a peer learning community as they practice key concepts, apply those in their daily work and gain insights from other experienced practitioners.

Working with Employers: Skills and Strategies for Job Development Success - Facilitator Guide

August 7, 2008

Whatever their job titles -- job developer, employment specialist, business services representative -- staff who balance the competing demands of both job seeker and employer customers face a challenging task. "Working with Employers: Skills and Strategies for Job Development Success" offers ten skill development modules (each 2-1/2 to 3 hours in length) that can strengthen the effectiveness of front-line staffs job placement activities. Participants experience a peer learning community as they practice key concepts, apply those in their daily work, and gain insights from other experienced practitioners.

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