Recent Evidence on Sector Strategies and Career Pathways Programs: Implications for Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
(Employment and Training Programs)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
But what approaches have been shown to be effective for operationalizing these concepts and implementing local programs to engage employers in curriculum design and successfully train and place workers using accelerated, stackable or open-entry/exit programs to fill openings in locally in-demand industries? This panel combines four presentations of new evaluation research that shed critical light on this question. The first paper presents findings from an impact study of an accelerated career pathways training program in the advanced manufacturing sector in five regions in Illinois, funded by the Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund. The second paper examines impacts of six local sectoral training programs in Ohio and Wisconsin, affiliated with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions/Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund and private funders. The third paper examines the long run follow-up impacts from WorkAdvance, a sector-based job training, placement, and advancement program in four cities, also funded by the Social Innovation Fund. The fourth paper present findings from a quasi-experimental impact evaluation of Accelerating Opportunity, a career pathways initiative to train low-skilled adults for high-wage, high-demand industries in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana. Taken together, these four dispatches from the field on what works in career pathways and sector strategies programming can inform robust implementation of WIOA at the local level to improve jobseeker outcomes, employer engagement and regional economic vitality.