The WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation is an experimental research study. MDRC is collaborating in the study with Mathematica Policy Research, which is the primary and lead organization on the project. The other evaluation partners include Social Policy Research Associates and The Corporation for a Skilled Workforce.
Under the guidance of DOL, the study will conduct a rigorous evaluation of the WIA-funded Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs and their services to determine the impact they have on individuals who take them up. The major goal of the evaluation is to provide insight on the effectiveness of these services and the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs in general. Toward this end, the evaluation will involve randomly selecting 30 study sites and, within those sites, randomly assigning about 68,500 customers to treatment and control groups.
The study’s research questions are:
- How do the WIA-funded intensive services affect customers’ employment rates, earnings, and other related outcomes?
- How does WIA-funded training affect customers’ employment rates, earnings, and other related outcomes?
- What is the effect of these services on subgroups of customers defined by customer and program characteristics?
- How are these services implemented, and how do differences in implementation affect customers’ employment, earnings, and related outcomes?
- Are the benefits of these services measured in dollars greater than their costs?
In conjunction with the partners, MDRC is executing the recruitment of participating local workforce investment areas (LWIAs), monitoring the random assignment of individuals at the LWIAs, and conducting implementation research. The implementation analysis, which will describe how the WIA program is run across local sites, will focus on the availability, content, and intensity of WIA core, intensive, and training services, as well as on non-WIA services that each group might access.