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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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.

States of Change

May 30, 2001

States of Change documents efforts by state policymakers and local practitioners to devise useful approaches to helping low-income job seekers stay employed and begin advancing. It draws, in part, from our experiences working on these issues since 1997 with five states -- Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma and Florida -- as well as on examples and lessons in several other states. In general, states are trying a number of retention strategies, but few have been tested. Therefore, we expect that many strategies discussed will soon be modified or replaced with new approaches. We hope that States of Change encourages this process of testing and innovation by providing a sense of what is being tried and learned around the country, and what challenges remain.

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.

Faith-Based Institutions and High-Risk Youth

March 26, 2000

Many of the highest-risk youth in poor communities are not reached by traditional youth programs, but are served by churches and other faith-based institutions that are both well-established and seriously concerned about the welfare of these vulnerable youth and their families. This report, the first in a series from P/PV's National Faith-Based Initiative for High-Risk Youth, provides an initial overview of strategies employed by faith-based institutions in 11 cities, including lessons learned about the distinct contributions of faith-based institutions to the work of civil society, and the challenges of building partnerships between faith-based groups and other institutions -- law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, foundations and philanthropy, local government and community organizations.

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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