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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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.

Seeking A Sustainable Journey to Work: Findings from the National Bridges to Work Demonstration

July 11, 2005

The Bridges to Work demonstration was designed to test whether efforts to help inner-city job seekers overcome barriers to accessing suburban jobs would result in better employment opportunities and earnings for these workers. This report examines outcomes for more than 1,800 applicants to Bridges to Work, half of whom were randomly selected to receive the programs transportation, job placement and supportive services for up to 18 months and half who were not offered these services. The researchers found that Bridges to Work did not positively impact participants employment and earnings, results that were consistent across cities and across various strategies for providing transportation services. Given the programs implementation challenges, costs and lack of results, the report concludes that the Bridges model is not a viable policy response to the mismatch between the location of jobs and the location of unemployed workers. However, the models lack of success does not diminish the importance of improving transportation options to increase workers access to employment, and the authors derive a number of important lessons from the demonstrations experience to inform future mobility efforts.

In the Driver's Seat

April 30, 2001

In the mid-1990s, P/PV launched the Bridges to Work demonstration to test the idea that improved access to suburban jobs might benefit low-income urban residents. The project sought to measure the impact of reverse-commuting initiatives in five major cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee and St. Louis. While the project was carefully planned, program staff still faced numerous unforeseen events that required program directors to adapt the design to meet local needs, impediments, and opportunities, while maintaining the quality of the original design. In the Drivers Seat examines the experiences of five project directors and their ability to address the challenges that arose, including discrimination in the workplace, ethical issues with random assignment, and difficulties in recruitment and placement.

Overcoming Roadblocks on the Way to Work: Bridges to Work Field Report

June 12, 1999

While many low-income, inner-city job seekers are isolated from economic opportunities in the suburbs, transportation alone is unlikely to improve their employment prospects, according to the authors of this report. Based on the lessons of P/PV's $17 million five-city Bridges to Work demonstration, the report indicates that while transportation was certainly critical, much of the sites' success depended more on their ability to recruit, prepare and support job seekers, the essential components of any workforce development program.

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