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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

About Workforce, Welfare, and Social Services

Workforce, Welfare, and Social Services

The Rockefeller Institute has conducted numerous studies of the implementation of federal and state welfare programs since the early 1990s. These included comparative studies of state and local reforms after the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, and after the creation of the JOBS program under the Family Support Act of 1988. Other studies relating to welfare reform have examined changes in state spending on social programs before and after reforms were put into effect.

Case Studies on Service Integration

In 2002 and 2003, the Rockefeller Institute of Government conducted a study of the nature and impact of service integration strategies at selected sites around the country. Working closely with the Casey Strategic Consulting Group of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we visited over 40 sites in 12 states where human service program managers have undertaken substantial efforts to integrate the delivery of human service programs. Selected site visit reports that document strategies, critical success factors, lessons learned, and operational tools, such as information technologies that have contributed to the success of these efforts, are available at the links below.

These reports reflect the focus of the research, which targeted efforts to coordinate and integrate services in income support programs, such as TANF and Food Stamps, with other programs. A final report analyzes findings from all of the sites and summarizes common, key factors that led to improvements in the delivery of human services.

Available site visit reports include: San Mateo County in California and El Paso and Mesa Counties in Colorado; Bibb County in Georgia; Jefferson County in Kentucky, the state of Nebraska; Montgomery County in Ohio; Jackson and Coos Counties in Oregon; Fairfax County in Virginia; and Racine and Kenosha Counties in Wisconsin.

A summary report on human services integration by Mark Ragan describes strategies that local human services professionals have implemented and the critical factors present in successful efforts.

These reports are available here.

Workforce Development

The Rockefeller Institute of Government and a network of field researchers studied the experience of eight states, 16 local areas, and over 30 One-Stop Career Centers in 2002 and 2003 in implementing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The eight states are Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, and Utah. The goal of the evaluation, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, is to understand how states and local areas interpreted and operationalized this law and identify the strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments of state and local service delivery systems to inform Congress and stakeholders as they consider WIA reauthorization proposals.

In May 2004, the Rockefeller Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, held a colloquium in Washington, D.C. on WIA service delivery. The colloquium included a keynote address by Mason Bishop, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor; a presentation on Rockefeller Institute study findings and challenges for the nation’s workforce development system; and panel sessions on WIA service delivery, featuring state and local officials, as well as researchers. These reports are available here.