Implementing Welfare-to-Work programs in rural places: Lessons from the Rural Welfare-to-Work Strategies demonstration evaluation

Rural low-income families trying to find jobs, maintain employment, and secure longer-term well-being face distinct challenges. In rural labor markets, jobs tend to be scarcer than in urban ones, and the jobs that are available more often involve minimum-wage or part-time work. Education and training opportunities and such support services as health and mental health care also are more likely to be difficult to obtain. Moreover, lack of public transportation common in rural areas can make existing jobs and services difficult for a dispersed population to access. This report chronicles the implementation experiences of the three demonstration programs participating in the Rural Welfare-to-Work (RWtW) Strategies Demonstration Evaluation. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) and its subcontractors, Decision Information Resources and the Rural Policy Research Institute, are conducting the evaluation with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Although it does not present findings on the impact of the demonstration programs - impact and cost-benefit research is still in progress - the report does share an early assessment of how the programs operate and the successes and challenges they have encountered so far. Researchers gathered information for the process and implementation study through in-depth site visits to each program (conducted between February 2002 and August 2003) and management information systems (MIS). (author abstract)

Record Type: 
Publication Date: 
April, 2004
April 2004
Partner Resources
  • Employment
    • Job Readiness
    • Job Search
  • Education and Training
  • Transportation
    • Access and Availability
    • Car Purchase Programs
  • Supportive Services
    • Post-employment Supports
  • TANF Program Administration
    • Case Management