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ERIC Number: ED568395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 363
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 62
Encouraging Evidence on a Sector-Focused Advancement Strategy: Two-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance Demonstration
Hendra, Richard; Greenberg, David H.; Hamilton, Gayle; Oppenheim, Ari; Pennington, Alexandra; Schaberg, Kelsey; Tessler, Betsy L.
This report summarizes the two-year findings of a rigorous random assignment evaluation of the WorkAdvance model, a sectoral training, and advancement initiative. Launched in 2011, WorkAdvance goes beyond the previous generation of employment programs by introducing demand-driven skills training and a focus on jobs that have career pathways. The model is heavily influenced by the positive findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study (SEIS) completed in 2010. A major component of the WorkAdvance model, in common with the programs studied in the SEIS, is formal training offering industry-recognized certifications, reflecting the hypothesis that skills acquisition is necessary for advancement. The model also requires providers to be far more employer-facing than traditional training programs, taking into account multiple employers' changing skill requirements, employee assessment practices, and personnel needs. This report presents the implementation, cost, participation, and two-year economic impacts of WorkAdvance. The evaluation as a whole provides important information for workforce development providers interested in pursuing a sector strategy. The analysis considers the role played by providers' sector-specific training and preparation and the role played by the nature of the sectors themselves. Future priorities that emerge from the results are (1) understanding how to help the more disadvantaged access the programs; and (2) learning how to build service capacity, given how complex the model is to run. The economic results are based on unemployment insurance earnings records and a second-year follow-up survey. The WorkAdvance program operations and evaluation are funded through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a public-private partnership administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This SIF project is led by the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity in collaboration with MDRC. The following are appended: (1) Data Collection, Analysis Methods, and Methodological Issues; (2) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 1; (3) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 2; (4) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 3; (5) Net Cost Thought Experiment; (6) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 5; and (7) Further Analysis of Sources of Variation in the Economic Impacts.
MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Corporation for National and Community Service
Authoring Institution: MDRC
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York); Ohio (Cleveland); Oklahoma (Tulsa)
Grant or Contract Numbers: 10SIHNY002