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Evaluation of Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP)
Initial registration date
March 22, 2017
June 06, 2017 5:47 PM EDT
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Booth School of Business University of Chicago
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Supporting labor market participation is crucial to improving economic outcomes for the millions of Americans trapped in poverty, yet existing job-readiness training programs focused on developing job-search skills have failed to substantially improve labor market outcomes for the chronically unemployed. We evaluate the impact of a new workforce development program, Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP), a promising alternative modeled on group social work practice. TIP empowers workforce development clients with the necessary psychological capital – self-awareness, confidence, hope, goal-orientation, leadership, accountability, conscientiousness, grit – for overcoming stubborn employment barriers and achieving long-term success. Through a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) implemented across three workforce development agencies serving unemployed Chicagoans facing multiple employment barriers, we measure the impact on employment outcomes of the new TIP program as compared to existing skills-based job-readiness training programs currently offered at the agencies.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Employment obtainment, employment retention, cumulative labor market earnings
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The new TIP program under evaluation will be implemented by three workforce development agencies alongside their respective existing skills-based JRT program. The TIP program is three weeks long and the existing JRT programs are one week long. At all three agencies, a JRT program will run concurrently to the first week of the TIP program. At two of the agencies, one-week JRT programs will also run concurrent to the second and third weeks of the TIP program, when there are a sufficient number of clients. Prior to the start of a new TIP program, new agency clients we will randomly assigned to either the TIP program (treatment, N=10) or existing JRT program (control, N=10). New clients who complete intake between randomizations will all be assigned to the JRT programs (each control N=10) running concurrent to the second and third weeks of the TIP program.
Experimental Design Details
We use two randomization methods to accommodate procedural idiosyncrasies across our implementation partners.
Method 1: Using RAND() function in Excel; agencies provide the research team with a list of client names to randomize, and we return the randomized list. This method is used by two of the three agencies.
Method 2: Using question randomization function in Qualtrics (survey software); agency enters client names into web-based Qualtrics survey, and Qualtrics returns a randomized list. This method is used by one of the three agencies.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
340 individuals in treatment group, 560 individuals in control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board at the University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number