This report, published by MDRC, gives key findings from The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project, which studied 12 programs designed to help low-income individuals -- primarily single parents -- find work and remain employed. This report describes the efficacy of these programs and highlights characteristics that played a role in program success. Key findings indicate that few parents moved into better jobs over time and most of the remaining parents either spent long periods out of work or lost ground. Parents who did show positive changes within their employment roles had more stable employment and greater earnings than parents who did not make work-related progress. In addition, younger parents, those with higher education levels, and those who took part in training/educational opportunities were also more likely to find and retain stable employment. Changing jobs also appeared to be a good way to make progress with employment. It is important to help single low-income parents find, retain, and advance in jobs so that they can provide more stable family environments for their children. Participation in services to assist with this may be beneficial, especially for parents who are younger and more educated. Such services could be incorporated into or referred to within relationship education.
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Paths to Advancement for Single Parents.