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Quasi-Experimental Impact Evaluation of the PowerCorpsPHL Program

Quasi-Experimental Impact Evaluation of the PowerCorpsPHL Program

Client: EducationWorks, 2020 – 2023

Study objective: Examine the performance and impacts of the PowerCorpsPHL program by conducting an outcomes assessment study to examine program participation and program-related outcomes, and a quasi-experimental impact study to examine the effects of the program on participants’ labor market, educational, and criminal involvement outcomes.

Policy context: PowerCorpsPHL uses a work-based, classroom, and socio-emotional learning model to address the underutilized talents of Philadelphia’s disconnected youth adults (ages 18 – 28). The program engages this youth in AmeriCorps service and prepares them for career-track and employment and post-secondary education success in the green jobs sector.

Research design: The study includes an outcomes assessment study which relies on participant-level data to assess program success in recruiting its target population and providing services to participants and examine whether program participation is associated with improved labor market outcomes. The study also uses Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania data to assess if program participation is associated with reduced engagement in criminal activities. The study also includes a quasi-experimental impact evaluation, which matches program participants with observationally similar individuals who lived in the same areas as did program participants and sought state employment and training services during the same period. Using Pennsylvania UI wage records, the study examined if program participants had improved employment and earnings outcomes following program entry compared with similar individuals who did not participate in the program.

Policy impact:  Preliminary findings from the outcomes study show that the program was effective in serving its target population, achieving high retention rates, and helping participants obtain industry credentials. Program participation is also associated with reduced future involvement with the criminal justice system. Preliminary quasi-experimental impact study results indicate that the program increased the likelihood that participants would engage in paid employment and increased job retention; there were also short-term impacts on earnings. Results from this study will inform decisions about providing additional program funding to expand program capacity.

Click here for the PowerCorpsPHL Impact Evaluation full report.

Click here for the PowerCorps PHL evaluation infographic.

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