Strategies

Policies and programs that work

35 Strategies
Clear all

Adult vocational training

Support acquisition of job-specific skills through education, certification programs, or on-the-job training, often with personal development resources and other supports
Scientifically Supported
  • Employment

Ban the Box

Prohibit criminal history questions on job applications and postpone background checks
Mixed Evidence
  • Employment

Bridge programs for hard-to-employ adults

Provide basic skills (e.g., reading, math, writing, English language, or soft skills) and industry-specific training with other supports; also called occupationally contextualized basic education programs
Expert Opinion
  • Education
  • Employment

Career pathways programs

Provide occupation-specific training for low-skilled individuals in high-growth industries, with education and supports, usually with stackable credentials and work experience opportunities
Expert Opinion
  • Employment

Certificates of employability

Issue certificates of employability to individuals with criminal convictions who have met pre-specified standards of rehabilitation; also called certificates of relief, reentry, good conduct, rehabilitation, recovery, etc.
Expert Opinion
  • Employment

Child care subsidies

Provide financial assistance to working parents, or parents attending school, to pay for center-based or certified in-home child care
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Child development accounts

Establish dedicated child development accounts (CDAs) to build assets over time with contributions from family, friends, and sometimes, supporting organizations; also called children’s savings accounts (CSAs)
Expert Opinion
  • Income
  • Education

Child tax credit expansion

Expand federal or state child tax credits by increasing credit amounts, making credits refundable, decreasing or eliminating the earnings threshold, or creating a fully refundable supplement
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Debt advice for tenants with unpaid rent

Offer debt advice from trained providers to tenants with unpaid, overdue rent to help repay debt and increase financial literacy
Some Evidence
  • Income
  • Housing and Transit

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Expand refundable earned income tax credits for low to moderate income working individuals and families
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

Provide confidential worksite-based counseling and referrals to employees to address personal and workplace challenges
Some Evidence
  • Employment
  • Family and Social Support

Financial education for adults

Provide one-on-one or group adult education programs that cover topics such as basic budgeting, bank use, credit management, bankruptcy, credit building and counseling, homeownership, retirement, divorce, etc.
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Flexible scheduling

Offer employees control over an aspect of their schedule through arrangements such as flex time, flex hours, compressed work weeks, or self-scheduled shift work
Scientifically Supported
  • Employment

Full child support pass-through and disregard

Adopt policies that allow custodial parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to collect all child support paid by the non-custodial parent; no portion is retained by the state
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

GED certificate programs

Implement programs that help individuals without a high school diploma or its equivalent achieve a General Education Development (GED) certificate
Some Evidence
  • Education
  • Employment

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Support subsidized asset accumulation programs in which deposits by low and moderate income participants are matched by program sponsors; withdrawals must be used for qualified expenses to retain matching funds
Some Evidence
  • Income

Job-sharing programs

Offer flexible working arrangements, allowing the duties of a single full-time position to be covered by two part-time employees
Insufficient Evidence
  • Employment

Living wage laws

Establish locally mandated wages that are higher than state or federal minimum wage levels
Some Evidence
  • Income

Matched dollar incentives for saving tax refunds

Support programs that provide matched dollar incentives for low or moderate income individuals to place some or all of their tax refund in a savings account
Some Evidence
  • Income

Microfinance & microenterprise

Support programs that provide small loans, usually to disadvantaged individuals, to start or expand a small business, often with business training and other assistance
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Minimum wage increases

Increase the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly compensation that employers may legally pay to workers
Mixed Evidence
  • Income

New Hope Project

Provided work supports for low income individuals and families (e.g., job search assistance, transitional jobs, subsidized child care, health insurance, etc.); participants worked at least 30 hours/week
Some Evidence
  • Income

On-site child care

Provide employees with child care options at work; care may be provided free of charge, partially subsidized as part of an employee benefit package, or offered at market rates
Insufficient Evidence
  • Employment

Paid family leave

Provide employees with paid time off for circumstances such as a recent birth or adoption, a parent or spouse with a serious medical condition, or a sick child
Scientifically Supported
  • Employment

Paid sick leave laws

Require employers in an affected jurisdiction to provide paid time off for employees to use when ill or injured
Some Evidence
  • Employment

Payday loan regulations

Regulate small, short-term loans that must be repaid by a borrower’s next pay day via bans, caps on maximum interest rates and loan amounts, minimum loan terms, truth in lending statements, etc.
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Refundable child and dependent care tax credit

Offer a refundable tax credit to working families with qualifying children or other dependents that receive care outside the home (e.g., a spouse with disabilities)
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Sector-based workforce initiatives

Provide industry-focused education and job training based on the needs of regional employers within specific sectors
Some Evidence
  • Employment

Summer youth employment programs

Provide short-term employment opportunities for youth, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds
Some Evidence
  • Community Safety
  • Employment

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

Explore ways to increase Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program benefit amounts for aged, blind, or disabled individuals, including children, with little or no income
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Telecommuting

Allow employees to work outside a central office, using technology to interact with others inside and outside the organization; also called remote work, telework, or flexible working arrangements
Some Evidence
  • Employment

Transitional jobs

Establish time-limited, subsidized, paid job opportunities to provide a bridge to unsubsidized employment
Scientifically Supported
  • Employment

Unemployment insurance (UI)

Extend or raise the compensation provided to eligible, unemployed workers looking for jobs
Some Evidence
  • Income

Youth apprenticeship initiatives

Provide participating high school students with professional opportunities that combine academic and on-the-job training or mentorship
Expert Opinion
  • Employment