Early Impact Findings of Career Pathways Programs and How they Inform Program Operations
(Employment and Training Programs)
Thursday, November 2, 2017: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Wrigley (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Roundtable Organizers: Karen N Gardiner, Abt Associates, Inc.
Moderators: Nicole Constance, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Speakers: David Fein, Abt Associates, Inc., Brian Stewart, Pima Community College, Ricardo Estrada, Instituto del Progreso Latino and Myra Garcia, Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement
While earnings prospects for low-skilled workers have steadily worsened, U.S. employers face critical gaps in filling mid-to-higher skilled jobs. Career pathways programs, which combine curricular reforms, academic and non-academic supports, and employment connections, offer a promising approach to helping adults complete training and earn credentials for in-demand occupations. The Pathways to Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation is the first rigorous study of career pathways approaches. It used an experimental design to assess the impacts of nine career pathways programs on educational and employment outcomes. Program leaders were critical to the study’s development and implementation, and from inception the project’s federal sponsors envisioned collaboration as extending to dissemination of findings. This roundtable marks a major project milestone—the release of reports on each program’s short-term impacts. The session will begin with a summary of the 18-month impacts of the PACE programs, including a description of the nine interventions, differences in service receipt between study participants who could access the program (the treatment groups) and those who could not (the control groups), and effects of each program on short-term educational outcomes. Then leaders of three programs in the evaluation will discuss their reasons for participating in PACE, their impressions of the findings on their programs, and ways they are planning to apply findings to efforts to strengthen and expand services going forward.