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ERIC Number: ED574474
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 74
Abstractor: ERIC
Aiming to Meet Workforce Needs: An Evaluation of the Economic and Workforce Development Program
Jez, Su Jin; Adan, Sara
Education Insights Center
California's dynamic economy depends on having a large and skilled workforce; consequently, the state must continually support and refine efforts to provide workers with employer-valued competencies. Given the wide range of regional and state needs across this vast state, ensuring that the workforce has the training to keep up with labor market demands is difficult. The California Community Colleges' (CCC) Economic and Workforce Development Program (EWD) aims to support the development of a workforce that will promote California's economic development by connecting employers and educators. This report summarizes the findings of an independent evaluation conducted on EWD. EWD aims to "invest in California's economic growth and global competitiveness through industry-specific education, training, and services that contribute to a highly-skilled and productive workforce." To support its mission, EWD created a new structure focused on regional and sector service delivery. Each region selected five sectors--three priority and two emergent--based on their rapid growth, high demand for workers, and well-paying jobs. To provide services, EWD employs: (1) Sector navigators (SNs) to serve as statewide experts in their sector; (2) Deputy sector navigators (DSNs) to address a given sector's unique regional needs; (3) Industry-driven regional collaboratives (IDRCs) to deliver short-term projects devoted to specific regional workforce needs; and (4) Technical assistance providers (TAPs) to provide support to the SNs and DSNs, including the Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research (CoE) and LaunchBoard (a data system that tracks student progress and outcomes). This is the culminating report of the legislatively-mandated independent evaluation of EWD. The evaluation focused on three main components: (1) the processes by which grantees operated (roles, coordination, funding, data use); (2) the services offered; and (3) the outcomes. The review of these components are based on author perceptions. The authors were not able to observe activities, nor did they have access to data that would allow them to estimate outcomes. From July to December 2016, they analyzed quantitative data and grantee accountability reports provided by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCCO), conducted 46 grantee interviews, and administered surveys to 110 participants comprised of grantees, career technical education (CTE) deans, regional consortia chairs, and employers. While the authors were able to gather rich information from EWD grantees, including SNs, DSNs, IDRCs, and TAPs, they faced significant barriers in other aspects of the evaluation. The quick timeline of this work limited their capacity to gather information from stakeholders. The design of EWD lacked a comparison group, and their inability to access relevant data forced them to make many concessions in reporting outcomes and to be unable to make causal claims about the program's effectiveness. The subsections in the report summarize the evaluation's main findings, EWD's strengths and areas of challenge, and recommendations for program improvement. The following are appended: (1) Tables and Figures; (2) Description of Evaluation Requirements; (3) Questions the CCCCO Sought to be Answered by the Evaluation; (4) Sample Quarterly Report; and (5) Details on Coordinating Efforts around Economic and Workforce Development.
Education Insights Center. 6000 J Street, Tahoe Hall 3063, Sacramento, CA 95819. Tel: 916-278-3888; Fax: 916-278-3907; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: California Community Colleges, Chancellor's Office
Authoring Institution: California State University, Sacramento. Education Insights Center
Identifiers - Location: California