Sectoral Training

Issue Focus

Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers

November, 2020

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.

Brief

A Synthesis of Findings on Sector Strategies

September, 2020

Job seekers with low incomes face numerous hurdles to finding and keeping high-quality jobs. Sector strategies address those hurdles by matching job seekers with skills training for specific industries or occupations where there is a growing demand. This review examines a cross-section of strategies, highlighting successes and areas for improvement.

Issue Focus

An Interview with Karen Pennington and Dawn Slinkard

July, 2020

Tulsa Community WorkAdvance is a sector-based training and career advancement program that prepares people for jobs in the health care field. Executive Director Karen Pennington talks about the impact of COVID-19 on operations and future opportunities in health care, and graduate Dawn Slinkard describes her experience in the program.

Report

Promising Results from a Bridge-to-College Model

May, 2020

Bridge-to-college programs aim to help people complete high school and enroll in postsecondary education. This evaluation of one such program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, WI finds that it helped more students earn their GEDs and enroll in college courses.

Report

Costs, Benefits, and Impacts from the WorkAdvance Demonstration

March, 2020
Kelsey Schaberg, David H. Greenberg

WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs, concentrating on demand-driven skills training and identifiable career pathways. Findings show the approach increased earnings and led to advancement gains over time at the most successful study sites. One program, Per Scholas, boosted earnings by 20 percent in the last year of follow-up.

Issue Focus

Using Data to Analyze Enrollment Drop-Off

August, 2019

The August 2019 In Practice blog post offers tips for programs to ensure that the participants they recruit, actually enroll. In this post, we examine some key lessons from MDRC’s evaluation of the WorkAdvance project to help turn program recruits into program success stories.

Report

Findings from a Study of the Career Readiness Internship Program

June, 2019

Work-based learning opportunities vary widely across colleges and are rarely evaluated. Through the Career Readiness Internship (CRI) program, 33 colleges provided large numbers of low-income students with valuable career-focused internship experiences, and employers generally viewed the program positively. Nevertheless, CRI was difficult to maintain after its grant period ended.

Brief

Findings from Three New Studies of Youth Employment Programs

November, 2018

Over four million young people in the United States are “disconnected,” meaning they are not in school and are not working. In the past few months, studies of three programs aimed at such young people have released new findings. This brief discusses these findings and their implications.

Report

Current Policy, Prominent Programs, and Evidence

September, 2018
Rachel Rosen, Mary Visher, Katie Beal

This paper reviews the available evidence supporting various types of career and technical education programs, touching on both the amount of evidence available in each area and its level of rigor.

Report

Final Impacts and Costs of New York City’s Young Adult Internship Program

August, 2018
Danielle Cummings, Mary Farrell, Melanie Skemer

This report presents 30-month impacts from a random assignment evaluation of a program that subsidized employers to offer temporary paid jobs to young people who were disconnected from school and work in New York City. After 30 months, program enrollees and nonenrollees fared similarly, with the former slightly more likely to report employment.

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