Beginning in 1999, New York City enrolled the majority of its welfare recipients in the Employment Services and Placement (ESP) job training program. Participants spent 14 hours a week in the ESP program, focusing primarily on skills such as resume writing and interviewing.
A 2006 University of Santa Clara study, “Leaving Welfare and Joining the Labor Force: Does Job Training Help? Evidence from an Innovative Intervention in New York City,” looked at how program participants fared compared to those who did not participate.
The study found that:
- Eight months after treatment, those enrolled in the program were twice as likely to be employed.
- Participation increased the likelihood of beginning a job by 13%.
- The likelihood of participants permanently exiting welfare increased by at least 8%.
- The fiscal benefits outweigh the program costs even with only 40% of participants remaining off welfare for more than a year.