Even in good economic times, many adults in the United States have trouble finding jobs that pay enough to support their families. Wages for those without a college degree, for example, have remained flat in real terms for decades. One policy response has been to help these workers build more skills, with promising findings from recently evaluated sector-based programs...
Career & Technical Education
MDRC, Ascendium Education Group, and Rural Matters partnered to present an audio series about higher education that aired on the Rural Matters podcast. This special supplement presents summaries of all four installments in that series.
New models of career and technical education ( CTE ) have expanded student choices and shifted towards high-quality, career-themed programs of study and pathways to careers. Advising within CTE programs plays a key role in guiding student pathway choices and ensuring that career information is received by all students, rather than a select few.
Many schools and...
Rural colleges are using technological advantages to try to boost enrollment as well as their local economies through infrastructure development and workforce training in advanced fields. This paper summarizes Part IV of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
When Washington state’s Division of Child Support closed its offices in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, its employment program—Families Forward Washington—kept running with minimal interruption, because the original design was based on working remotely. Its model may offer useful pointers for other service agencies for adapting to the pandemic.
College Access Strategies in Rural Communities of Color
Education strategies that consider the local context, needs, and desires of rural students of color, who have historically been shut out of equal access to a college education, are getting increasing attention. This paper summarizes Part III of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
When COVID-19 upended normal operations at STRIVE, a workforce development nonprofit founded in New York, the Center for Applied Behavioral Science at MDRC documented the agency’s real-time innovations that allowed it to continue serving clients during the crisis. Greg Wise, STRIVE’s National Vice President, shared a first-hand account of the transition.
A Statewide Education Collaboration That Centers on Rural Communities
A West Virginia campaign to double college degree attainment by 2030 includes five evidence-based strategies proven to help students succeed and is customized to suit the particular needs of rural communities. This paper summarizes Part II of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, early care and education providers faced challenges attracting and retaining qualified, well-trained, and diverse early educators — and staff turnover can affect children’s early progress. Three approaches may help improve these workers’ access to professional education, their overall economic well-being, and their sometimes difficult working conditions.
Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers
Low-wage workers have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing greater levels of unemployment than their higher-wage-earning peers. Training programs that focus on moving workers into skilled jobs in industries with strong local demand could reposition them for 21st-century success.