H. Luke Shaefer

A Randomized Evaluation of the State of Michigan's Community Ventures Program

Research Project Description
H. Luke Shaefer, Elisabeth Gerber, Brian Jacob

The State of Michigan, in collaboration with the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, proposes to conduct a three-year evaluation of the innovative Community Ventures Program (CV) that provides job placement and support for low-income, structurally-unemployed individuals in Michigan.

We will compare two randomly selected groups of SNAP program participants in the cities of Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, and Saginaw. The experimental group will consist of 500 SNAP recipients with access to CV. The control group will consist of 500 SNAP-only participants with access to conventional job training services.

The goal will be to see if access to CV placement with an ?Employer of Choice? (EOC) and coupled with support services improves outcomes for participants in the following ways: increases earnings and employment during and after CV, reduces public assistance receipt, reduces crime and recidivism among ex-offenders, improves physical and mental health, reduces housing instability, and improved child social and behavioral outcomes. It will not only inform program implementation in the State of Michigan, but holds significant potential to inform policymaking in other states and at the federal level, making a Michigan-based program a model for the nation.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
(subcontract: 13550)

Funding Period: 1/1/2017 to 6/30/2019

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