Workforce, Income, and Food Security

Workforce Development

team working together
Abt is known for conducting research and evaluation projects on workforce development programs and welfare policy for federal agencies, including the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration. We also work with state-level agencies, local governments, and faith-based and community-based organizations.
Our long history of welfare policy research and expertise was critical in evaluating welfare reform programs in multiple states. In addition to evaluating changes in welfare policies and services, we also studied new benefit-delivery systems, such as systems involving the electronic transfer of funds to clients.
In our current work, Abt is a leader in researching and evaluating workforce development programs and policies. These programs can help enhance productivity by creating efficient labor markets so worker competencies align with employer needs.  As such, many of these are career pathways-type programs that integrate aspects of education and worker training for low-income and/or low-skilled adults. Our research takes into account the globalization of work, an increased emphasis on information- and service-based occupations, and advances in training and educational technology.
Across these topics, our experienced staff are recognized for:
  • Cutting-edge work in designing and implementing experimental and quasi-experimental research designs.
  • Process and formative evaluations that emphasize service delivery effectiveness, process improvement, organizational capacity development, and partnership formation.
  • The ability to find and recruit the most promising programs for evaluation and bring them up to scale.
  • Working collaboratively with practitioners and policy makers to ensure that results are relevant to the field.

Learn more about Abt's work Supporting Strategies to Improve Skills, Employment, and Earnings.


UNITED STATES: What impact has the Family and Medical Leave Act had on employees and employers?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), enacted in 1993, provides U.S. employees with a number of rights including reasonable unpaid family and temporary medical leave, health insurance coverage, and reinstatement to a previous job under certain circumstances. Yet, despite millions of workers taking temporary leave under FMLA, there’s been no information on the impact it’s had on employees or employers. To fill this gap, Abt Associates designed and fielded nationally representative surveys with 2,800 employees and 1,800 employers. Among the survey’s findings were that employees actively use the benefits established by the Act, and most employers report that complying with the FMLA imposes minimal burden on their operations. All the findings will support the Department of Labor in shaping future regulatory options.
CLIENT: U.S. Department of Labor / PROJECT: The FMLA Study

Blog Post: Using Behavioral Nudges to Increase the Use of Government Services
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Social Security
New Approaches for Social Security
Federally funded, Abt developed a secure records system to manage 1.2m Social Security payees while coordinating sub-contractors.
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