Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Kristen Crossney, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeremy Phillips, Ph.D., MPA


Youth living in poverty have difficulty transitioning into adulthood. Barriers impact their ability to successfully attain a credential and become employed. Few studies have been conducted on the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which offered employment and training solutions for low-income youth facing barriers to completing high school and attaching to the workforce. Using eleven years of data, this study examines the impact of pregnancy or parenting status, homeless status, and offender status on a youth’s ability to attain a credential or be employed in the first quarter after program exit. Results show that overall, the WIA youth program was effective. Implications of the study findings, relative to policy and program initiatives, are discussed.