'Jobs for the Disadvantaged'
The first class of participants in four of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation's "Jobs for the Disadvantaged" programs graduated in June 1987. The telephone interview survey described in this report gathered information on the educational and work status of these graduates six months later, along with similar information for a matched comparison group of nonparticipants in each site.
There were relatively small numbers of graduates in these four sites: 74 program and 45 comparison-group members. While response rates were high—94 percent among program participants and 88 percent among comparison-group members—the small numbers make it hard to draw firm conclusions. A significantly higher percentage of program participants graduated on time (95 percent) than was true of comparison-group members (76 percent), however.
About half of each group—participant and comparison—were in some form of postgraduate schooling. However, 38 percent of participant graduates were working, compared with 18 percent of comparison-group members, while 21 percent of comparison group graduates were neither in school nor working, something true of only 7 percent of program graduates. About 15 percent of both groups were in military service.
Among those graduates in school, few differences were found between program and comparison-group graduates. Slightly more program graduates were in two- and four-year degree programs than was true of comparison-group graduates, and program graduates had slightly higher educational goals; neither of these differences was statistically significant, however. For both groups, about 80 percent were in school full time, and about 90 percent were receiving some form of financial aid.
Of those graduates working, about twice as many program graduates had secured work through school—31 percent versus 14 percent—while comparison-group graduates had relied far more on relatives and friends—58 percent versus 31 percent. While comparison-group graduates had somewhat higher wages, this seems primarily due to two or three individuals who exerted a heavy influence on the small data set.