Panel Paper: Escalating Gains: Project QUEST’s Sectoral Strategy Pays Off

Friday, November 3, 2017
Columbian (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Anne Roder, Economic Mobility Corporation and Mark Elliott, Mobility

Mobility will present findings from its randomized control trial of Project QUEST’s sectoral employment program. Founded in San Antonio, Texas nearly 25 years ago, QUEST has recruited and supported over 6,000 low-income residents interested in careers in growing sectors of the local economy. This study focuses on one of QUEST’s principle sectors, health care. QUEST students attend occupational courses at local community colleges and, upon completion, take state certification exams. QUEST is the fourth organization in the Sectoral Employment Impact Study. The other three, Per Scholas, Jewish Vocational Service and Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership each showed that treatment group members achieved large, statistically significant earnings gains 24 months after enrollment. The longer follow-up period for the QUEST evaluation will help address a concern that earnings impacts may fade over time. In fact, the evaluation demonstrates that QUEST participants achieve large earnings impacts that not only don’t fade, but increase over the six years. The evaluation also addresses program effectiveness for particular sub-groups including GED holders and high school graduates. Because it partners with community colleges to conduct formal training, Project QUEST lends itself to replication. Indeed, it has been replicated across the southwest and sister organizations include Capital Idea, Project VIDA, Project Arriba and Jobpath.

Full Paper: