National Job Corps Study: The Short-Term Impacts of Job Corps on Participants’ Employment and Related Outcomes

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Job Corps graduates earn higher wages and are less likely to have run-ins with the criminal justice system than eligible nonparticipants, according to this report conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Job Corps program, created in 1964, trains and educates disadvantaged urban youth ages 16-24 who have dropped out of high school. The report is based on a nationwide 30-month follow-up study of 9,409 participants who had been randomly accepted into the Job Corps program, and 5,977 applicants who were eligible for but not enrolled in the residential program, which generally lasts eight months.

According to the report, Job Corps participants: were 20 percent less likely to be arrested, charged or convicted of a crime, and if convicted, served less jail time than control group counterparts; received more post-participation non-Job Corps academic instruction and vocational training than control group members; received less in federal benefits than control group members; and were less likely to describe their health as "poor" or "fair." The report concludes that longer-term follow-up is critical for drawing policy conclusions about the impacts and cost-effectiveness of Job Corps. 410 pages. Free at For hard copy, $30 for entire report or $2.50 for executive summary (28 pages) plus $3.50 S/H. Contact: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543. (609) 275-2350. opr/FULLTEXT/jobcorps/Outcomes/ 

- Amy Bracken