Panel Paper: Creating an Evidence-Base - Feasibility Study and Evaluation of Non-Traditional Occupation (NTO) Demonstration

Saturday, November 10, 2018
8209 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Neha Nanda, Carolyn Corea, Luke Patterson, Eileen Poe Yamagata and Paula Mian, IMPAQ International, LLC

Evidence-based knowledge on strategies that help reduce barriers associated with NTO entry for women is critical. Barriers that discourage or prevent women from entering NTOs limit their access to high-paying jobs. One such entry barrier is the lack of awareness and misperception women have against NTOs. In this study, funded by DOL, we implement a demonstration and evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-pronged recruitment intervention that reduces the awareness and perception barriers of women. The recruitment content developed as part of the demonstration uses behavioral techniques designed to encourage women to take short-term steps (such as, completing an interest form of a pre-apprenticeship program) towards entering an NTO training program. It represents an easy-to-implement recruitment approach for pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship training programs generally.

This study is a unique and innovative rigorous evaluation of NTO-themed recruitment content aimed at nudging women to take short-term steps towards applying to an NTO training program directed at women. The behavioural RCT study randomizes women into a treatment group that receives targeted, women-themed recruitment content and a generic control group that receives non-themed, generic recruitment content. Content was delivered to individuals assigned to each group through multiple emails and a postcard, all of which directed the female jobseeker to a website that contained additional recruitment content. We selected communication modes that were easily accessible to workforce system practitioners.

This study was implemented separately with two American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) grantees—Seattle, Washington (South Seattle Community College), and Albuquerque, New Mexico (Central New Mexico Community College) in two different industries that offer careers that are NTOs for women: Partnership for Advanced Technology Apprenticeships in Manufacturing and Marine Engineering (PATAM) program in South Seattle for Advanced Manufacturing and Construction pre-apprenticeships.

The Seattle study highlights the benefits, creates awareness and reduces misperceptions of the advanced manufacturing/construction industries and the New Mexico one does it in Information Technology industry. Over the course of the demonstration period (June 2017 to March 2018), the evaluation team randomly assigned approximately 20,000 female jobseekers 18 years old or older from Central New Mexico and 15,000 female jobseekers (also 18 years old or older) from South Seattle.

The results of this RCT study will advance DOL and training practitioner knowledge on the effectiveness of using an NTO-themed, multi-mode outreach approach to encourage women to enter traditionally male-dominated occupations.