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Which Program Characteristics Are Linked to Program Impacts? Lessons from the HPOG 1.0 Evaluation


June 11, 2019

The goal of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program is to solve two problems at once. HPOG provides education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals so they can get well-paid jobs, in particular in healthcare. In doing so, HPOG also helps meet growing demand for healthcare workers.

Abt’s evaluation of 42 HPOG 1.0 programs, which vary in their offerings, examined the relationship between program characteristics and impact on four key outcomes: educational progress, employment, employment in healthcare and earnings. Characteristics that contribute to impacts 15-18 months after program entry vary by outcome.

  • For education outcomes, greater access to tuition and financial assistance, childcare, transportation, employment supports and emergency assistance produced larger impacts.
  • For employment outcomes, no HPOG program components or implementation features are associated with larger impacts on overall employment. But access to employment supports and social and other services is associated with larger impacts on healthcare sector employment.
  • Access to employment supports also is associated with a larger impact on earnings.

This analysis does not enable us to make causal claims about the relationship between program characteristics and impacts. Instead, the analysis associates variation in impacts with variation in program characteristics, providing suggestive evidence of these relationships.

Future research will explore impacts at three years and six years after program enrollment as part of the Administration for Children and Families-funded Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes and Long-term Outcomes research projects.