Ã’Welfare_to_workÃ“: Assessing Communication Competencies and Client Outcomes in a Job Training Program
New Ã’welfare_to_workÃ“ programs increasingly provide clients with short_term, communication_intensive job training rather than financial assistance. Program administrators apparently believe that communication training is a useful tool for increasing client employment rates and reducing welfare dependence. This longitudinal study examined the success of a communication_intensive job training program serving 101 largely indigent clients in an urban area. The communication characteristics of successful clients and the effects of the training on measures of communication competence were evaluated. About 40% of clients obtained full_ or part_time employment. Clients who obtained full_time employment entered the program with higher scores on two dimensions of the Conversational Skills Rating Scale (CSRS), articulated more specific plans for employment interviews, and reported receiving more social support from members of their households. The training resulted in significant pre_ to post_test improvements on all four dimensions of the CSRS and four measures of communicative planning (for employment interviews). Results indicate that communication skill is a significant factor in predicting client outcomes. We conclude by suggesting several program improvements, including focusing on system_level communication factors, providing long_term social support, and increasing emphasis on post_employment communication processes.
Southern Communication Journal
pre print, post print (12 month embargo)
Waldron, Vincent R. and Lavitt, Melissa, "Ã’Welfare_to_workÃ“: Assessing Communication Competencies and Client Outcomes in a Job Training Program" (2000). Social Work & Criminal Justice Publications. 505.