Speaking of Employment:A Report on ISSP Participant Interviews at Kern andSan Mateo CountiesAllen, Shea & Associates*1780 Third StreetNapa, CA 94559Ph: 707-258-1326 Fax: 707-258-8354Email: [email protected] Website:*Sub-contractor to The Results GroupOctober 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentAcknowledgmentsAllow me to express my gratitude to three interviewers, who did a fine job interviewing asample of ISSP participants: Patricia Guterez, Nafisah Abdul-Aliyy, and Joan Michaux.They received brief training before undertaking the work. They then practiced with ISSPstaff at the two sites, both interviewing and being interviewed. Training emphasis wason establishing and maintaining rapport, understanding how to ask the questions,listening carefully and recording what was said, and probing in ways to avoid influencingthe respondent’s message.Two Service Coordinators (Angelina Quintana, Kern County, and Greg Wild, San MateoCounty) were my principal contacts, and I am most grateful for their fine work. Theypulled together lists of individuals, obtained September/October 2001 employmentinformation on each sample member selected, and assisted the interviewers in doingtheir work. My thanks too, to leaders at the two sites, Dennis Farrell (Kern), and JudyDowning (San Mateo), and to the rest of their ISSP Project staffs: Carol Bowman(Kern) and Joe Hennen, Pali Basi, and Nancy Broman (San Mateo), who were graciousin their support of this effort.The instruments we used (See Appendices B and C) are adaptations of ones beingdeveloped and field-tested by an Outcomes Tracking Workgroup through theCooperative Program Units of the California Departments of Mental Health (DMH) andRehabilitation (DOR). My thanks to Terry Truitt of DMH; Warren Hayes, ProjectManager at DOR for the ISSP Project; and Betsy Clark of the Santa Cruz CooperativeProject for facilitating use of adapted versions of the survey instruments they are pilotingat several sites across the State.This report has been a collaborative effort among the California Department ofRehabilitation, Department of Mental Health, the Social Security Administration, andThe Results Group. This study was funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreementbetween the Social Security Administration and the State of California (Grant #12-D70339-9-01). The contents and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect theposition or policy of the Social Security Administration or of the California Departmentsof Mental Health or Rehabilitation, and no official endorsement should be inferred.Requests for copies of this report should be sent to John Shea, Allen, Shea &Associates, 1780 Third Street, Napa, CA 94559 (email: [email protected])John SheaAllen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group2October 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentContentsPageAcknowledgments .2Background .5Instruments .5Findings .6Job six months ago .Sector and occupation .Hours per week and rate of pay .667Change in employment from six months ago .Employment status at time of survey .If not employed, reason for leaving last job.777Current (or, most recent) job .Hours per week and rate of pay .Fringe benefits .Sector and occupation .Current (or, most recent) job fit career goals? .88888Job satisfaction, training, accommodations.Job satisfaction .Training from employer .Disclosure of disability .Accommodations .88889What has (or, would have) helped you stay employed? .Those employed .Those no longer employed .Comparison of patterns, by whether employed.991212Employment services .Employment services, in general .Benefits counseling and assistance .Any help with employment wanted at this time? .13131313Experience with Social Security Administration.14Whether had contact over past year .15Helpfulness, courtesy, clarity of information.15Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results GroupOctober 28, 20023

Speaking of EmploymentConfidence in accuracy of information received .How affected feelings/attitudes toward working .1616School, college, or vocational training .Going to school or participating in a training program?.1616Perceived changes in financial situation and life quality.Changes in financial situation .Changes in life or well-being .171718Summary .19Employment .Job satisfaction, training, disclosure, and accommodations.What helped (or, would have helped) stay employed.Services .Contact with the Social Security Administration .Career, finances, and overall quality of life.202020212121AppendicesAppendix A. Call Sheet .Appendix B. Interview Schedule.Appendix C. Mail Questionnaire .Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group4232531October 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentSpeaking of EmploymentA Report on ISSP Participant Interviews at Kern and San Mateo CountiesBackgroundThe evaluation of California’s Individual Self-Sufficiency Planning (ISSP) project isheavily dependent on quantitative information on employment and earnings forparticipants at the two sites, Kern and San Mateo. Each year, the California Evaluationteam has visited each site, to observe and to ask questions. The initial visits (in 1999)were an opportunity to get acquainted. Most questions dealt with (1) recruitment andintake; and (2) the process people experience while in the project. In the following twoyears (2000 and 2001), questions tended to focus on significant changes: in the kindsof people joining the project; in the process they go through; and/or in the largerenvironment (e.g., the job market; public transportation). We sought this kind ofinformation to help us understand and interpret the quantitative information coming fromthe project. This year, we have had a special interest in learning from the experience ofproject participants. This document reports on one aspect of this work.Three interviewers (two at San Mateo; one at Kern) were recruited and briefly trained.They carried out their work in March and April of this year. ISSP staff indicated howmany participants in the ISSP project had jobs paying at least the minimum wage inSeptember/October 2001. Two lists (one San Mateo; the other Kern) constituted theuniverse from which sample members were drawn. We established a predeterminedtarget of 16-17 interviewees at Kern and 33-34 at San Mateo, where the project is aboutdouble the size of Kern’s. Using the Random Number calculator in EXCEL to select thefirst person at random, we then used systematic sampling (e.g., every second person).This technique yields results essentially identical to random sampling, because eachperson has an equal chance of being selected into the sample. Forty-nine individualswere interviewed or completed and returned mail questionnaires: 32 from San Mateo;17 from Kern. One potential interviewee at Kern, who speaks only Spanish, wasdropped and replaced by the next available person on the list. Two or three othersdeclined to be interviewed, and again the subsequent person on the list was contactedas a replacement.InstrumentsAt the end of this report, the reader will find copies of a Call Sheet and two instruments.One is an Interview Schedule. The other is a mail Questionnaire version of theinstrument, which was used in a handful of cases.Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group5October 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentFindingsJob six months agoSector and occupation. -- Nearly half the jobs (22/49, 45%) were with companiesor individuals in the private sector. Over half were with government entities (15/49,31%) or in human service agencies, typically non-profits (11/49, 22%). One personwas “self-employed,” working for a social service entity that the person created someyears ago. Exhibit A is a listing of the employers (number in parenthesis, if morethan one), excluding the person who reported being self-employed. Job titles arealso given.SectorExhibit A. Jobs Six Months Ago, by Sector and Job TitleJob titlePrivate sector:Friends ofPlumbingBlockbusterCentury TheatersDenny'sK Mart (2)KL&PM&S SecurityMail Boxes, Etc.Main Street Coffee RoastersManpowerMotor City Sales & ServiceNet Vision Technology, Inc.Peninsula Message ServicePerformance Bike ShopPetcoSafeway (2)SavinTarget (2)Human service work:Administrative CoordinatorCase Manager AssistantChild Care ProviderCommunity FriendDiet AideIntake Coordinator: Drug & AlcoholMedical Program Assistant (2)Outcomes Assistant (2)Peer Counselor (3)ReceptionistSocial Security Benefits TechnicianTeacher/counselor/instructor (2)Teacher's Assistant/tutor (2)Janitorial, cleaning:DishwasherGardenerGarden AssistantGroundskeeperJanitorGovernment:Ameri-Corp Work StudyBakersfield CollegeCollege of San MateoCounty of San Mateo (8)CSU-Bakersfield (2)Kern County Mental HealthSuperintendent of SchoolsSecurity:Guard/security guard (3)Customer service, sales, cashiering:CashierClerkCourtesy Clerk (2)Customer Service/StockerHuman service agencies, typicallynon-profit:Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group6October 28, 2002

Speaking of Employmentnon-profit:Bakersfield Symphony (and aprivate school)Bay Area Senior ServicesCaminar CLC (4)Goodwill IndustriesMental Health Association (2)Redwood Village, Inc.Salvation ArmyRetail ClerkSales Associate (2)StockpersonTelemarketerShipping and receiving:Data Entry/ShippingMessengerWarehouse AssistantOther:Copy RepairmanDirectorFile ClerkPlumberSecretaryTechnical AssistantTuba player; instructorWaitressHours per week, and rate of pay. -- When jobs were taken, average hours of workper week were 22.6 (range: 4 to 40), and the average rate of pay (each personweighted equally) was 9.08 per hour (range: 6.25 to 20.79).Change in employment from six months agoEmployment status at time of survey. -- Two-thirds (33/49, 67%) reported stillworking for the employer on the Call Sheet. More (39/49, 79%) were employed atthe time of interview, three holding two jobs. One-fifth (10/49, 20%) were notworking. Two of the ten reported looking for work; three said they were going toschool; and five reported doing something else. (See Q3.)If not employed, reason for leaving last job. -- Question 4 asks whether theperson (a) was laid off; (b) quit; (c) was fired; or (d) left employment for some otherreason. Since reasons are often complex, it should come as no surprise thatcategorizing reasons was a challenge. Not infrequently, the interviewee wouldreport being “laid off,” “quit,” or “let go,” and then explain under “some other reason.”Listed below are things that some individuals had to say: (The first three werereasons for “quitting;” the next five were written under “Some other reason.”) [I] didn't get along with boss.To go to school (college).[I] injured myself (pinched nerve in the neck).Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group7October 28, 2002

Speaking of Employment Because he was hospitalized and they needed someone at all times and hecould not longer produce the work expected of him.The job was stressful.Granddaughter got laid off and couldn't handle babysitting anymore.Was at Bakersfield College; transferred to CSU-Bakersfield; the drive was toolong.Started feeling bad; couldn't handle school and job at same time.Current (or, most recent) jobHours per week and rate of pay. -- At time of survey, when asked about current (ormost recent) job, those surveyed reported working an average of 19.6 hours (range:3 to 40), and earning an average of 9.09 per hour (range: 2.25 to 20.25). Thelowest wage was reported by an individual babysitting for a child within her familyunder CalWORKS.Fringe benefits. -- Fringe benefits were infrequently reported. The most commonlyreported fringe benefit was paid vacation (17/48, 35%). Interestingly, 12% (6/48)reported some health care coverage; 15% reported some holiday pay; and otherfringes were reported by 6% or fewer.Sector and occupation. – With so little time passing, change in the range of jobs(sector and occupation) were relatively minor, and are not detailed here. (Seepages 6 and 7.)Current (or, most recent) job fit career goals? -- Respondents were asked (Q16)“To what extent does your current (or, most recent) job fit with your career goals?”One in five (10/49, 20%) said Not at all. Forty-five percent (22/49) said Very much,and 35% (17/49) said Somewhat.Job satisfaction, training, accommodationsJob satisfaction. -- Asked about level of satisfaction with their job (current or mostrecent), 67% said Very much; another 27% said Somewhat; only 6% reported Not atall.Training from employer. -- Two-fifths (30/49, 61%) reported receiving sometraining from their employer. This could be an overstatement, because “job coach”was often noted, and that service may (or may not) have come from the employer.Certainly, in some cases, employers doubtless concurred in training by an outsideagency, such as Vocational Rehabilitation Services (San Mateo) or Kern CountyVocational Services (Kern).Disclosure of disability. -- As for information about the person’s disability beingshared with the employer, 59% (29/49) said “Yes.” Of this number, the samepercentage said that the information was shared before taking the job. A rathersizable fraction (4/29, 14%) said they were unsure when the information was shared.Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group8October 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentAccommodations. -- Relatively few respondents (14/49, 29%) said “Yes,” inresponse to Q11, which read: “Did you or anyone else ask for anything, so that youcould do your job better, or be more comfortable (an accommodation)?” Asked“what was requested?,” respondents said (or interviewers reported in their words): To get job done fasterCut hours back for him and was great toward helping himWorks in the afternoon, because of insomniaFootrestJob coach (mentioned twice) More hot tips on gardeningSupportAsk for time off if neededAsked for head phones because of disabilityOnce a month, meet with supervisor to let them know what is needed forclient FlexibilityHave meeting with supervisor for any problems every weekComputer, cell phone, & pagerOf the fourteen individuals who asked for something, eleven said that they got whatthey asked for. One didn’t know or couldn’t remember. If repeating the survey, wewould probably change the wording to say something like: “Because of yourdisability, did anyone . . . ?”What has (or, would have) helped you stay employed?Question 13 was viewed as one of the most important for the ISSP project, becauseincreases in employment (and earnings) are viewed as a central outcome of theenhanced services being provided through the project. On this page and the nextthree, one can see what interviewees had to say in response to the question: “Whathas helped you stay employed (or, What would have helped you keep your job orstay employed?)”There are a couple of ways to summarize such qualitative information. One is bytheme, according (say) to first-mentioned thought. The other is to categorize allthings mentioned, trying to include each discrete idea. We use this secondapproach below.Those employed. – Here are the remarks made by 39 individuals who wereemployed at the time of the survey:The job (enjoyment, self-esteem, etc.) I wanted to work. Basically, that was motivation.Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group9October 28, 2002

Speaking of Employment Past work habits has helped through hard time.Good job for me. I feel important.Hot tips on gardening.Loves her job, enjoys working.Likes her job.Enjoy the job, lot of fun, get to know the client and is great for the both ofus.Enjoys what she is doing.Believing in what you are doing. Helping mentally ill people to understandabout mental illness.Like the job.Love my job.Like the job - helping me feel better about my job. Have a sense of pride missed only one day's work in 9 months.Staying in the Master's program, getting a high rating from the students Iteach.Different or change of lifestyle. Likes his work.I like my job.It's a good job.Customer service helping kids, getting them balloons.Wants to give back what he has received.Has been told she has a great attitude, because she works well withcustomers and co-workers.Being confident and happy to help clients.Love what I do.Conversing with the people at his job.Support from others (e.g., family, friends, employer, co-workers) I like the people I work with. Treated very well. Nick King, supervisor, is supportive and understanding. The respect and helpfulness received. Employer is real supportive. My wife. Myself and God. Experience. Employees are helpful and understanding. The company itself. The environment. The employer, a very nice person. Good environment. Great environment, great supervisor. Having a great boss & friends. I meet a lot of other people who are quite friendly with me. The ownersdon't yell at me a lot. The owners care about me a lot. They depend onme. Care about me so much they drive to the bus depot every night also. Positive feedback from employer. Support received from supervisor and co-workers.Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group10October 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentTake home pay, benefits The pay. Making money. References for new job. Got raises. Need the money. Need money. Trying to save for car. Money. The union (I'm in the union). Vacation pay. Triple pay onholidays. The money made. Money. Necessity. Husband is so ill. I need this job. I like uniform. The alumni with the ISSP program, because this program allows her tokeep more of her wages. Hopes the ISSP program continues beyond2003.Services (e.g., job coaching, mental health services) Caminar CLC job coaching. Job coaching has really helped. Nothing else comes to mind. The support from Angelina and Carol. It helps me a lot because I don'tstay home any longer. Counseling helps me to get through crisis. It's been really hard for me, butI'm learning how to cope. Support from VRS. Sue Cleveland & Sue Broman, ISSP counselors. Peer Counselor support.Hours, schedule, flexibility Flexible. Schedule of her hours. The flexibility.Health (or illness) Have had a hard time staying focused. Sobriety. Medicine makes me fatigued and sleepy. I am having a problem withanger and paranoia.Transportation or location Easy transportation. Close to home.Other (not elsewhere classified) People have been laid off in other businesses, so I stayed with this job. Nothing.Those no longer employed. – Here are the ideas expressed by the ten individualswho were not working at time of survey:Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group11October 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentThe job (enjoyment, self-esteem, etc.) A different job.Support from others (e.g., family, friends, employer, co-workers) Support from girlfriend.Take home pay, benefits More money. Nothing else. The money he made helped him stay with this job, but would have liked tobeen paid more. There was not anything else about this job that helpedhim to stay employed while working.Services (e.g., job coaching, mental health services) [Support from . . . ] job coach & case manager. More interaction with job counselor.Hours, schedule, flexibility More hours. The hours became less and less. If I wasn't going to school and working at same time, it would have helped.The main reason I left Ameri-Corp is I had to take a class in order to stayworking at Ameri-Corp.Health (or illness) I have schizophrenia. Major health concerns, need more surgery. Amtired all the time. If I had better correction for sleep apnea. Just need tofocus on school until surgery is complete. Better nerves (meds calm nerves). Have less depression.Transportation or location Transportation. Fact that I was working where already going to school.Comparison of patterns, by whether employed. -- Motivators are sometimescategorized as extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic factors are things that come fromoutside the person: pay, benefits, awards, and so forth. Intrinsic motivators comefrom within (e.g., enjoyment of the work; feeling of accomplishment). In terms ofnumber of comments falling within various categories, Table 1 provides a summary,comparing those who were employed with those not working at time of survey. Thedata are generally consistent with Frederick Herzberg’s theory of motivation. Thosewho stayed employed often mentioned aspects of their jobs (34% of all discreteideas), while those no longer employed tended to mention things external tothemselves (e.g., pay/benefits, hours/flexibility, and transportation/job location).Support from others can fall into either category, depending on whether it representssupport for accomplishment (intrinsic) or is simply a public relations gesture(extrinsic).Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group12October 28, 2002

Speaking of EmploymentTable 1. Themes in response to the Question 13, by whether or not employed attime of %The job (enjoyment, self-esteem, etc.).Support from others (family, friends,employer, co-workers) .Take home pay, benefits .Services (e.g., job coaching, mental healthservices) .Hours, schedule, flexibility .Health (or illness) .Transportation, location .Other (not elsewhere classified).Total (Avg)EmployedNotemployed8%*Exceeds number of respondents, because some mentioned reasons falling into more than onetheme category.Employment servicesEmployment services, in general. -- Asked to what extent “our employmentservices have helped you,” seven of every ten (35/49, 71%) said Very much; another18% (9/49) said Somewhat; and one in ten (5/49, 10%) reported Not at all. SeeQ15.Benefits counseling and assistance. -- Asked more specifically, to what extent“benefits counseling services have helped you (Q16),” the percentages reportingbeing helped were somewhat larger: 73% and 22%, respectively. Only 4% (2/50)said Not at all.Any help with employment wanted at this time. -- At the end of the survey (Q25),each person was asked: “Regarding employment, is there anything that you wouldlike help with now?” Over half the respondents (26/49, 53%) said “Yes.” Most of therest (21/49, 43%) said “No.” Those who responded affirmatively were asked afollow-up question, “What would you like help with?” Here is what they had to say:Getting a job, better job, or more pay: Meet with job developer to assist in getting another job.More pay.More hours or full time.Get back into Work Center or get another job.I would like eventually a better position. Get a new job.Work at a better place with more hours.Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group13October 28, 2002

Speaking of Employment Looking for part-time work & is working with Joe Hennen.Would like help getting a new job.Housing and getting more money with the job she does. Employment.Would like to become full-time employee at KCMH.Referral for jobs.Career or schooling: Resume preparation.Job training in mental illness.Tutors in reading and math; need help; don't like Adult School.I need to figure out where my life is going.Like to take a class in human resources, maybe accounts receivable. To continue help with going to school.I want to finish x-ray program. Another part of me wants to go to work inschool system working with kids.Dealing with benefits and Social Security: Help with benefits.Would like some progress with Social Security & VRS in North County.Help with W2 and pay stubs.Dealing with Social Security forms about disability & learning the new job.Stabilizing benefits.Other: Moral support & someone to talk to.Just stay in contact with Carol BowmanExperience with Social Security AdministrationBecause the ISSP Project provides intensive benefits counseling and assistance,and greater service coordination (employment support), and is funded through aCooperative Agreement with the Social Security Administration, four questions (Q17,Q18, Q19, and Q20) dealt with Social Security issues.Whether had contact over past year. -- Asked whether, over the past year, theinterviewee had any contact by phone or in-person with the Social SecurityAdministration local office, just over half (24/49, 51%) said “Yes.”Helpfulness, courtesy, clarity of information. -- Those who respondedaffirmatively were asked to describe the contact in terms of helpfulness, courtesy,Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group14October 28, 2002

Speaking of Employmentand/or clarity (or understanding). Here is what respondents had to say, categorizedby positive statements, negative (i.e., critical) statements, and other statements.Positive statements: Helpful and courteous.Very helpful.Polite and helpful.Just fine.Very helpful; courteous. Thankful for the support they gave him for as long as they did. He is nolonger receiving benefits because SSA says he is no longer eligible formoney, but Medi-Cal.Sent letter about overpayment, so she went in person and they were veryhelpful & very nice.Very great.Very helpful. No problems.Somewhat helpful; very courteous; easy to understand. Helpful; courteous; somewhat easy to understand.Somewhat helpful; courteous; understandable.A on everything. Negative (critical) statements: Not helpful. Sent pay stubs to SSA last year and they were lost. Clientsays she contacted caseworker and caseworker told her she should waituntil she (case manager) calls her. Client says there are too manydifferent rules being played.Didn't like the courtesy of SSI administration. Had to pay back more thanexpected.Courtesy was bad; helpfulness was bad; he had to write a letter ofcomplaint with one of the staff. Sent many letters of overpayment & verybad with bookkeeping.Miscommunication. Conflicting letters saying he owed them & he didn'towe them. Finally, he has this under control.She thinks they are trying to mess over them and she did discuss this withthe VRS counselor.Hostile; non-support and non-courtesy completely.In person they are very helpful, but by phone there are conflicts such asreaching each other.Over the phone, very helpful, but in person, not very helpful. Courteousover the phone but not so in person. Not easy to understand.Other statements:Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group15October 28, 2002

Speaking of Employment Sometimes helpful. One time treated with disrespect. Easy tounderstand.He received letters and his case manager and payee helped him.Owe them 4,000 for overpayment, because 2 years ago worked withGoodwill & Canada College.Contact by mail and there would be (idea not completed by interviewer).Confidence in accuracy of information received. -- Questions 19 asked “Howconfident are you in the accuracy (correctness) of any information you received fromSocial Secu

Speaking of Employment Allen, Shea & Associates for The Results Group October 28, 2002 6 Findings Job six months ago Sector and occupation.--Nearly half the jobs (22/49, 45%) were with companiesor individuals in the privat