Jobs-Plus was a large-scale employment program implemented in six cities from 1998 to 2003 that aimed to help residents of public housing find jobs, increase their work hours, and improve their self-sufficiency. It was one of the most ambitious employment programs ever attempted and was conducted in some of the nation’s poorest inner-city housing developments. In the four years following its rollout, Jobs-Plus markedly increased the earnings of residents. These earnings increases emerged during the tail end of the booming economy of the 1990s and persisted through the recession that began in 2001.
At this Brookings briefing, Gordon Berlin, president of MDRC, and James Riccio, who directed the evaluation of Jobs-Plus, will review the Jobs-Plus program and its results. Several researchers and congressional staffers who deal with employment or housing issues will comment on the study. The panel will focus on whether the program’s impressive results could be achieved on a larger scale if public housing authorities throughout the nation—or in a broad subset of urban areas—were given funds to implement a program similar to Jobs-Plus. Panelists will take questions from the audience following the discussion.