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Sectoral Employment Impact Study: Random Assignment Evaluation

Public/Private Ventures

  • Program Education
  • Program Area Expanding Economic Opportunity
  • Grant Amount $645,044
  • Grant Period April 1, 2003–July 31, 2004
  • Location Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • Geographic Focus Boston, Milwaukee, New York

About this grant

Despite labor market trends requiring workers to possess more skills in order to obtain well-paying jobs, federal funding for skills training has decreased since 1980. The decrease in funding has resulted in part from a lack of evidence that training programs are effective in increasing employment and earnings among low-income adults. While there have been evaluations of sectoral employment initiatives, there is a need for a study to determine the impacts of various programs around the country.Funding will support a longitudinal study, using random assignment design, to assess the potential impact of skills training on low-income workers. Through a random assignment evaluation, participants will have a 50 percent chance of being assigned to the treatment group or the control group. Members of the treatment group will participate in training and receive other supportive services; members of the control group will not participate in the training program for 18 months. The study will result in two reports: an interim report focusing on program implementation; another report examining whether participating in sectoral employment programs improved participants’ employment and earnings compared to those in the control group.During the past year, Public/Private Ventures selected sites to be included in the impact study; developed the evaluation design; and created the study instruments. The three sectoral training initiatives selected are the Jewish Vocational Services of Boston, Per Scholas in the Bronx and the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership in Milwaukee.