Stepping Up: Interim Findings on JVS Boston’s English for Advancement Show Large Earnings Gains

Anne Roder and Mark Elliott
November 2020

In Stepping Up, we document that JVS Boston’s English for Advancement (EfA) program generated large earnings gains for participants during the two years after they enrolled. Our report presents findings on employment and earnings impacts for a cohort of nearly 800 study participants who enrolled in a randomized control trial study between September 2016 and December 2017 and whose two-year follow-up period ended by December 2019. EfA is part of the nation’s first Pay for Success project focused exclusively on workforce development.

In our analysis, we found:

  • EfA had a substantial, statistically significant impact on annual earnings in the second year after random assignment—an average difference of $2,621. Total earnings impacts over the two years after random assignment average $3,505.
  • EfA participants who were unemployed when they enrolled realized earnings gains of over $7,100 compared to members of the control group during the second year after enrollment.


Given the current high rates of unemployment nationwide, particularly in immigrant communities, we believe these findings are of great relevance to communities across the country.

To read the full report, click here