Panel: How Can Processes and Outcomes of Employment and Training Programs be Improved?
(Employment and Training Programs)

Saturday, November 8, 2014: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Enchantment Ballroom B (Hyatt)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Todd Honeycutt, Mathematica Policy Research
Panel Chairs:  Erika Liliedahl, U.S. Department of Labor
Discussants:  Hugh Berry, U.S. Department of Education and Sophie Mitra, Fordham University

Local Implementation of Wia Policy: Variation in Approaches to College Education in the Workforce Investment System
Heather McKay1, Elizabeth Nisbet2, Sara Haviland1 and Renee Edwards1, (1)Rutgers University, (2)John Jay College

Improving Services for Persons with Disabilities Under the Workforce Investment Act and Related Programs: Challenges, Opportunities, and a Way Forward
Jaehee Choi1, Alejandra Cerna Rios2 and Christopher King2, (1)University of Texas at Austin, (2)University of Texas, Austin

The Experiences and Characteristics of Participants in ARRA-Funded Health Care and Green Jobs Training Programs
Julie A. Williams, Elizabeth Copson and Karin Martinson, Abt Associates, Inc.

Individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, or have less developed human capital can benefit from receiving employment-related training through publicly-financed programs. These programs provide vocational services, job skill development, education, access to resources, and other services for youth and adults interested in improving their vocational opportunities, and often involve coordination at the federal, state, and local levels. This panel includes four papers that assess three such programs to identify ways to improve their processes and outcomes, using a range of primary and secondary analytic methods. Two papers examine the programs and services available though the Department of Laborís Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which provides funding for a variety of state and local programs. The first paper reviews the programs available for persons with disabilities, with an emphasis on the extent this population uses waivers to access relevant services. A second paper relies on a mixed-methods evaluation to understand how variation in specific WIA programs promotes access to college education, focusing on how local communities pursue different approaches toward the same goal. A third paper presents initial implementation results of a random assignment study involving four green energy and health care sector training programs, which are funded by DOL though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A final paper uses administrative data to examine how state vocational rehabilitation agencies vary in the services they deliver to transition-age youth with disabilities, and presents information on long-term outcomes for this population related to the receipt of Social Security Administration disability benefits. The results from this panel will inform policy and practice at the federal, state, and local levels, as participants learn more about the structure, effectiveness, and outcomes of employment and training programs.
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