Publications

Brief

Implementation Lessons for Practitioners from the TechHire and SWFI Randomized Controlled Trial

01/2022

This brief highlights key findings from the implementation of the TechHire and Strengthening Working Families Initiative (SWFI) programs and offers considerations for practitioners. The programs provided training for high-tech jobs as well as support services to people with barriers to training and employment. Presented especially for a practitioner audience and derived from a rigorous evaluation, including visits to TechHire and SWFI programs, interviews with staff members, and a review of program participation data, the brief describes staff members’ experiences of facilitators and challenges related to recruiting for these types of training programs and delivering a range of services, including technical skills training, case management, support services, child care assistance, and job placement and other post-training services. The brief offers considerations for practitioners involved in planning or implementing similar programs.

In September 2016, the U.S. DOL Chief Evaluation Office awarded Westat, with MDRC, a contract to conduct an evaluation of the 53 TechHire and SWFI programs. This brief is based on lessons from one element of that evaluation: a randomized controlled trial of a small subset of the 53 TechHire and SWFI programs—three TechHire programs and two SWFI programs—that explored the implementation and short-term impacts of TechHire and SWFI. In particular, this brief focuses on findings from the implementation analysis that was part of the RCT; data sources for the implementation analysis included observations of TechHire and SWFI programs, interviews with staff members, and a review of program participation data.