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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The Least of These: Amachi and the Children of Prisoners

July 31, 2012

There is no rule book for creating, implementing and sustaining a successful social intervention. Hundreds, if not thousands, of now-defunct social programs attest to this reality. These programs may have succeeded in identifying a social need, a cogent and sometimes creative way of meeting that need, and some capacity (both financial and operational) to launch the effort.These are necessary elements -- but not sufficient ones. The social policy field does not consistently recognize or reward good ideas. Success is often as much a product of unusual circumstances -- confluence of the right time, the right idea and the right people -- as it is a result of inherent program quality and effectiveness.The Amachi program is a prime illustration of the unpredictable nature of success in the social policy arena. Its success resulted from a nearly unique blend of factors -- Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), which had been studying the issue of relationships as a way of helping young people for almost two decades; the Pew Charitable Trusts' interest in the potential of faith-based organizations to meet social needs; the well-known academic John DiIulio, who was looking for practical ways to put Pew's interest into action; a source of stabilizing program knowledge (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America); and finally a leader, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., whose combination of personal contacts, managerial knowledge and experience, and dedication to the idea of Amachi was decisive in making the program a success locally, and later nationally.Politics also played a role: the election of a president (in 2000) interested in faith-based initiatives; DiIulio's role in steering the president's attention to Amachi during its early days in Philadelphia; and the way that attention led to a sustained national focus (with federal program funding) on the target group Amachi was designed to serve: children of prisoners. The interplay of these factors -- along with good luck and good timing -- is in many ways the core of the Amachi story, which is detailed in the pages that follow.

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.

Community Change for Youth Development: Ten Lessons from the CCYD Initiative

December 1, 2002

From 1995 through 2002, P/PV worked with six neighborhoods around the country to develop and institute a framework of "core concepts" to guide youth programming for the nonschool hours. The goal was to create programming that would involve a high proportion of each neighborhood's several thousand adolescents. This report summarizes the basic lessons that emerged from this Community Change for Youth Development (CCYD) initiative. The lessons address such topics as the usefulness of a "core concepts" approach; the dos and don'ts of involving neighborhood residents in change initiatives; the role of research; the role of youth; and the capacity of neighborhood-wide approaches to attract high-risk youth.

Charting New Territory: Early Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act

January 30, 2002

Charting New Territory is an examination of implementation of the Workforce Investment Act through the eyes of public officials in five cities. Though the strategies being pursued in each city vary, the report documents local officials' shared concerns about the difficulty of getting genuine cooperation from mandated partners, the challenges posed by WIA's data collection and performance requirements, and the frustration inherent in a transition from one system to another, while continuing to provide services. It concludes with several lessons on what will be needed to make WIA more effective.

Support for Youth: A Profile of Three Communities (a Community Change for Youth Development [CCYD] report)

March 15, 1998

Over the past decade, increasing attention has been given to nonschool hours as a vehicle for providing some of the basic supports -- caring adult attention and guidance, career development, and opportunities to engage in positive learning and enrichment activities -- that encourage positive youth development. This report examines the assumptions that youth with higher levels of support are more successful in school, work and their communities, and that youth in moderately poor urban communities lack adequate supports. Community-wide surveys completed in 1996 in three communities -- Austin, Savannah, and St. Petersburg (Florida) -- found a discouraging decline in supports and opportunities as youth get older. From 15 to 25 percent of youth 18 years and older were not engaged in any positive structured activities, had very few adults in their lives, and were not working.

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