Learning from State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies on the Eve of WIOA: State Differences in Service Receipt and Employment Outcomes by Applicant Employment Status

Publisher: Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, vol. 48, no. 3
Jun 26, 2018
Authors
David R. Mann and Sarah Croake

Key Findings:

  • There was more variation across state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies in the share of applicants receiving services than in the share employed at program exit.
  • Variation was particularly large for students not employed at application.
  • Seven state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies were in the highest quartile on both outcomes for one or more subpopulations.
The Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act increased focus on State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (SVRA) service priorities for several applicant subpopulations, such as transition-age youth, workers receiving subminimum wages, and workers with competitive and integrated employment. This study examines state variation in outcomes for applicants in four different employment statuses at application similar to the subpopulations affected by WIOA, and identifies SVRAs with consistently strong outcomes. We used VR administrative data on cases closed during fiscal year 2014 to calculate the percentage of VR applicants who received services and the percentage of VR service recipients who were employed at program exit. Regression analysis controlled for applicant subpopulation, SVRA, and other characteristics. Results were reported as marginal effects and presented graphically. There was more variation across SVRAs in the share of applicants receiving services than in the share employed at program exit. Variation was particularly large for students not employed at application. Seven SVRAs were in the highest quartile on both outcomes for one or more subpopulations. The findings are a first step towards better understanding the mechanisms that drive the relative success of some SVRAs and facilitating the sharing of best practices throughout the VR program.