Labor and Workforce Development
Is job dissatisfaction impacting productivity? Are job trainings helping unemployed Americans find work and employers find skilled workers? How extensive are workers’ rights violations? And how can clients enhance job services for people with disabilities? Westat’s rigorous research finds the answers.
Our work focuses on employment and training, employee protections, and public benefits and work requirements. Westat evaluates employment and training programs to determine net impacts, outcomes, and costs and benefits. In addition, our work is focused extensively on improvement of employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Our survey work supports studies of employee job satisfaction as well as violations of workers’ rights under federal law and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Other research examines the implications of work requirements and time-limits-associated public benefits.
Employees work in a wide range of different job settings and need protections for their health, safety, and fair treatment in employment and compensation. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for many of these protections, including occupational safety and health, mine safety and health, regulation of wages and hours worked, employee benefits, and federal contractor compliance. We are conducting a national survey to provide an understanding of the prevalence and nature of violations of workers’ rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This information will allow the DOL to better target its enforcement efforts and compliance programs.
Employment and Training
Employers need workers with the necessary skills and training to meet their workforce requirements. Workers, especially the unemployed, may need employment assistance or job training to find or qualify for employment. Westat evaluates employment and training programs using rigorous methods to determine program impacts and outcomes. These methods include randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as well as quasi-experimental designs. Westat is providing technical assistance to help states overcome barriers to providing evidence-based employment services to individuals with mental health disabilities.
Public Benefits and Work Requirements
Policymakers seeking to reduce dependence and encourage work consider work requirements and time limits important components of public assistance programs. It is, therefore, important to investigate the impact of these requirements on program participation and employment. For the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), we examined the effects of work requirements on participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), referred to as able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).
Meet the Team
Senior Vice President & Sector Lead, Human Services; Acting Practice Director, Social Policy & Economics Research
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