Copy
The latest on workforce development, adult education, and income security research and practice.
View this email in your browser
SUMMER 2016

Featured Column


 College for All? Then Create Better Pathways for Low-Income Adults
 

What We're Doing Next


 How Can the U.S. Help Workers Get on Paths to Good Jobs?

 Addressing the Need for Evidence on Career Pathways Models

 Evaluating an Innovative Job Corps Pilot Program

Featured Projects


 Nothing Can Stop Me: Career Pathways Participants Share Thoughts on Success

 What’s the Role of Technology-Based Learning in the Workforce System?

 High Share of HPOG Clients Complete Training, Find Work
 

New Faces


 Austin Nichols
 Jill Norton
 Adrienne Smith

What We're Talking About


 Sometimes, the Story is in the Subgroups

 ACF Launches New Online Hub for Career Pathways Research 

 Using Impact Evaluation Tools to Unpack the Black Box and Learn What Works

College for All? Then Create Better Pathways for Low-Income Adults

Julie Strawn, Principal Associate, Social and Economic Policy


This month more than three million college students across the nation will heave a sigh of relief and celebrate having made it to graduation day. They know their chances of getting a job and earning at least a middle-class living are much better with a college credential than without one, as recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Many low-income adults, though, find the road to a college credential is long and full of obstacles. Career pathways offer a promising solution; Abt research is filling in knowledge gaps on whether that promise can become a reality.
Read More →

What We're Doing Next

How Can the U.S. Help Workers Get on Paths to Good Jobs?


In support of President Obama’s goal of doubling the number of apprenticeships in five years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently made one of the largest investments in apprenticeship in the nation’s history. Through the American Apprenticeship Initiative, DOL awarded $175 million to 46 grantees that pledged to train and hire 34,000 workers in health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing. Abt Associates is leading a $6.6 million evaluation to assess grant implementation, outcomes for participants, and return on investment for employers.
Read More →

Addressing the Need for Evidence on Career Pathways Models


The rapid rise of career pathway approaches creates an urgent need for sound evidence that shows what works well and why it does. DOL tapped Abt Associates to design a study of career pathways approaches that fills critical gaps in knowledge related to program design, implementation, and overall success, especially in health care and early care and education. Abt will provide a synthesis of existing approaches and evaluations, as well as the potential to expand career pathways approaches in early care and education.
Read More →

Evaluating an Innovative Job Corps Pilot Program


The Cascades Job Corps College and Career Academy pilot is an ambitious and evidence-based attempt to improve the performance of Job Corps, particularly for youth 16 to 21 years old, who typically have not fared as well as have older Corps members. Abt Associates and its partner are evaluating the impacts of several key innovations, including opportunities and supports for youth to stay in Job Corps longer, a sectoral approach to occupational training set in a career pathways framework, and training in “soft” social and workplace skills.
Read More →

Featured Projects

Nothing Can Stop Me: Career Pathways Participants Share Thoughts on Success

A new brief, one in a series of three, describes early lessons from in-depth interviews with Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study participants. PACE is a 10-year random assignment evaluation of nine promising career pathways interventions aimed at increasing education employment and self-sufficiency among low-income, low-skilled adults. Participants discussed several topics, including: their motivations for enrolling in a career pathways program; how they define success in their selected program, and how they view their chances of succeeding. Two additional briefs focus on career pathways participants’ perceived challenges and programmatic and other supports accessed by participants.
“I’m trying to find a better, more productive way to get into a career versus just working these—I mean, I have a great job. By all means, I have a great job, but, ehh, it’s a job.”

-PACE study participant
Read the Brief →

What’s the Role of Technology-Based Learning in the Workforce System?


Technology-based learning (TBL) has enormous potential for state and local workforce investment systems, but the large-scale picture of how broadly these possibilities are being realized is not yet fully understood. This research is the first to systematically describe the policy and environmental context that shapes adoption as well recent patterns of actual use. With funding from DOL, Abt Associates collected descriptive information about the use of TBL at the state and local levels in the workforce system. Our results suggest that while a substantial majority of states use or support the use of such learning within the system, less than half reported formal, institutional commitments to TBL. At the local level, service providers commonly blend TBL with traditional, in-person delivery modes.
Read the Report →

High Share of HPOG Clients Complete Training, Find Work


The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program funds training programs modeled on a career pathway framework for low-income individuals seeking high-demand jobs in health care. Abt is conducting the National Implementation Evaluation of the non-tribal grantees, and this report presents findings that describe the context, administration, activities and outcomes of grantees’ programs. We found that most program participants were single mothers, and 72 percent of those who had completed at least one training were employed after exiting their program.
Read the Report →

New Faces

Austin Nichols, a public finance expert who focuses on economic mobility, has joined Abt from the DeBruce Foundation’s Research Institute, where he served as senior research director. From 2009–2014, he served as Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center. Nichols holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan as well as a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Read More →
Jill Norton, an experienced education policy adviser with more than a decade of experience managing large education projects, has been appointed as Abt's Director of Education Policy. Norton joins Abt from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, where she served as a senior policy adviser. She also served as executive director of the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. Norton holds a Master’s of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Read More →
Adrienne Smith, has more than 12 years of experience conducting social science and policy research. Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. in political science from Emory University and previously worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee. She was a research assistant at Abt Associates from 2003 to 2005, and joins Abt as an associate to work on projects across the company’s income security and workforce and housing practices. 

What We're Talking About

Sometimes, the Story is in the Subgroups
ACF Launches New Online Hub for Career Pathways Research
Using Impact Evaluation Tools to Unpack the Black Box and Learn What Works
At Work is an e-newsletter featuring the latest Abt research results and expert insights on career pathways and other employment and training strategies, as well as on adult education and income security issues. Subscribe to At Work here.
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
YouTube
Copyright © 2016 Abt Associates, All rights reserved.

Abt Associates
4550 Montgomery Ave, #800N
Bethesda, MD 20814

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences