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Dec 20 -- The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) invites comments by February 20 2023 regarding its proposed extension of data collection activities conducted for the Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies (NextGen) Project (Office of Management and Budget (OMB) #0970-0545). The project is rigorously evaluating innovative interventions to promote employment and economic security among low-income individuals with complex challenges. The project includes an experimental impact study, descriptive study, and cost study. This extension will allow additional time to conduct study intake, collect data from NextGen programs and staff, and to conduct participant data collections. No changes are proposed to the data collection instruments.

OPRE is conducting the NextGen Project to build the evidence around effective strategies for helping low-income individuals find and sustain employment. This project will identify and test innovative employment programs designed to help people facing complex challenges secure economic independence. The project is partnering with the Social Security Administration to incorporate a focus on employment-related early interventions for people with current or foreseeable disabilities who have limited work history and are potential applicants for Supplemental Security Income.

We seek approval for an extension without change for the currently approved data collection activities. For the impact study, this includes: (1) Baseline survey and identifying and contact information data collection, (2) a first follow-up survey, and (3) a second follow-up survey. For the descriptive study, this includes (1) service receipt tracking, (2) a staff characteristics survey, (3) a program leadership survey, (4) semi-structured program discussions (conducted with program leaders, supervisors, partners, staff, and providers), (5) semi-structured employer discussions, and (6) in-depth participant interviews. For the cost study, this includes an Excel-based cost workbook.

Respondents: Program staff, program partners, employer staff, and individuals enrolled in the NextGen Project. Program staff and partners may include case managers, health professionals, workshop instructors, job developers, supervisors, managers, and administrators. Employers may include administrators, human resources staff, and worksite supervisors.

NextGen Project: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/project/next-generation-enhanced-employment-strategies-project-2018-2023
Data collection instruments and technical documentation available at this site.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-27609

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