Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can provide assistance to unemployed workers. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • Supportive services aimed to increase participants' employment and earnings
  • All participants receive online job search assistance and information about specific careers
  • Participants can also receive job searching help, career counseling, career assessments, short-term vocational training, and case management
  • A third tier of participants receives individualized job training

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Promising (Third-highest tier)


Promising (Third-highest tier)

Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs are not yet in any of the major clearinghouses, but have demonstrated positive results in an independent, high-quality evaluation conducted by Mathematica

Target population

Low- and moderate-income adults

Program cost

Approximately $250 per participant

Implementation locations

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Increased earnings by $7,132 within 30 months
  • Increased credential receipt by 9 percentage points

Keys to successful implementation

  • Prioritize recruitment of employers, especially those willing to provide on-the-job training.
  • Provide a suite of welcoming services, including a staff member to greet each new client as they arrive; group or individual orientation; and access to a computer lab or resource room.
  • Help participants focus their job searches through basic skills tests and aptitude and interest tests, in addition to in-person assessments based on conversations about a participant’s needs and goals.
  • Use demonstrated participant motivation (such as resume improvement, workshop attendance, and job search efforts) as a primary criterion for receiving individualized, intensive services from a career counselor.
  • Fund occupation-specific training for participants to earn necessary professional certifications; given the substantial cost of such programs, prioritize offering training funding to those who have clearly demonstrated an interest in a specific field and have visited training programs already.
  • Offer frequent professional development workshops focused on broadly needed skills, such as how to use employer-demanded computer programs.
  • Reimburse participants for costs that may otherwise create barriers, including books, supplies, tools, uniforms, and transportation.

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