The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program aims to provide education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients and other adults with low-incomes for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to be in high demand.
Abt Associates evaluated 23 of the the 32 grantees in the first round of HPOG (HPOG 1.0) using a rigorous experiment. Six years after study members enrolled:
- HPOG did not detectably increase receipt of a postsecondary credential requiring a year or more of training among those who had access to HPOG (about one-third of the entire study sample had completed such a credential).
- HPOG increased employment in a healthcare occupation by five percentage points, from 32 percent in the control group to 37 percent in the group that could access the program.
- Despite the shift toward healthcare work, HPOG did not detectably increase quarterly earnings. All of the study's participants, whether they had access to HPOG or not, had average quarterly earnings about about $6,000 as of the six-year follow-up.
- There is no evidence that HPOG’s impact differs—being more or less favorable—for any particular subgroups (such as those defined by race, parental status, baseline education, or prior labor market attachment).
Evidence from this evaluation suggests that HPOG 1.0’s impacts are qualitatively similar to other career pathways programs, based on a meta-analysis of other impacts: that is, gains in educational progress and industry-specific employment have not led to earnings gains.