Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Youth Use of Workforce Services in Virtual Contexts: Final Report
In 2021 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) partnered with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and 11 participating counties in Ohio to conduct a study entitled Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Youth Use of Workforce Services in Virtual Contexts. The study focused on participation in Ohio’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP), which receives funding from both the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. CCMEP provides a wide range of employment, training, and supportive services to young adults ages 14–24, based on a comprehensive assessment of their needs. The impact evaluation tested how use of text messages informed by behavioral insights could enhance service engagement and completion among young adult participants.
Key findings were:
- The text messages increased the number of services started by CCMEP participants within their first 60 days in the program.
- The text messages increased by 10 percentage points the likelihood that a CCMEP participant would successfully complete at least one program service within their first 60 days in the program.
- The text messages had no impacts on outcomes measured within the first 90 days, neither the number of services started nor the likelihood of completing at least one service.
- County program administrators recognized the benefits of sending behaviorally informed texts to encourage youth engagement, but they noted the importance of customizing messages to reflect the character of the program in each county.
A set of appendices includes resources about behavioral insights, additional details on the study design, and technical information about the impact estimates.