Summary and Findings of the National Supported Work Demonstration

The National Supported Work Demonstration, a program at 15 sites around the country, was designed to test whether and to what extent 12 to 18 months of employment in a supportive but performance-oriented environment would equip hard-to-employ people to get and hold normal, unsubsidized jobs. The program concentrated on women who had been receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) for many years, ex-addicts, ex-offenders, and young school dropouts, often with criminal records or histories of delinquency. The evaluation found that the program proved effective in enhancing the employability and earnings of long-term AFDC recipients, particularly those with the least prior work experience, and in reducing their dependence on welfare payments. It also had an impact on a significant segment of the ex-addict population, who did better in getting jobs, earned more, and were less likely to commit crimes than those who were not in the program. The program had a marginal impact on ex-offenders, and yielded no long-term positive results for the youth group.

1980. Summary and Findings of the National Supported Work Demonstration. New York: MDRC.