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By Howard S. Bloom

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Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. Professor Bloom is an evaluation research methodologist and has published numerous studies of employment and training programs. S. Congressional Budget Office and the National Commission for Employment Policy. Currently he is co-principal investigator for the National JTPA Study, one of the largest randomized field experiments ever conducted in the social sciences. Page vii SUMMARY Back to Work: Testing Reemployment Services for Displaced Workers presents lessons learned from the Texas Worker Adjustment Demonstration, a 2,192-person randomized experimental evaluation of reemployment programs for displaced workers conducted at three Texas sites during 198485.

What types of persons participated in the program? How did program services differ by type of participant? How were differences across sites related to their industrial and occupational mix, the nature and source of their economic displacement, and the types of community services that were available? What was the program's impact on future employment, earnings and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits? How did this impact vary by type of participant? To what extent, if any, did retraining add to the impact of job-search assistance, and what were the costs of services provided?

The evaluation contractor, Abt Associates, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was selected through a competition in 1984, soon after Page 6 the Phase 2 projects were chosen. Thus, even though the Phase 2 projects were willing to implement an evaluation, they could not fully appreciate the implications of doing so until after the evaluation contractor was chosen and the evaluation design was developed. This, in turn, complicated the evaluation contractor's initial task. Nevertheless, after a series of site meetings and planning sessions, evaluation designs were agreed upon by each site.

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