Panel: Long-Term Effectiveness of Sector Strategies and Career Pathways Programs: Lessons for the Field and Strategies for Scaling
(Employment and Training Programs)

Thursday, November 7, 2019: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Plaza Building: Lobby Level, Director's Row H (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Kelsey Schaberg, MDRC
Panel Chair:  Richard Hendra, MDRC
Discussants:  Karin Martinson, Abt Associates, Inc. and Nicole Constance, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Training programs for low-skilled adults often fail to prepare participants for sustained employment and upward mobility, especially if the programs do not lead to a marketable credential, or if they do not focus on jobs in high-demand occupations with genuine advancement opportunities. At the same time, employers often report difficulty finding workers with the required skills. Sector strategies built on a career pathways framework attempt to overcome these issues by identifying a series of education and training steps, combined with support services, within in-demand sectors and industries.

But there are still open questions around whether and how these programs can lead to long-term economic gains, as well as around how these strategies can be scaled. This panel includes three presentations that address these questions. The first two presentations showcase longer-term findings from evaluations of sectoral and career pathways programs. The first presentation highlights the three-year findings – on educational progress, labor market outcomes, and family well-being – from the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) Program, which offers healthcare sector training in a career pathways framework. The second presentation discusses the five-year economic impacts and cost-benefit findings from WorkAdvance, a sectoral and advancement program. The third presentation discusses how the findings from evaluations of sector and career pathways programs can inform and support policymakers seeking to extend and scale these types of programs. Specifically, the presentation will highlight several ways New York City is building on the sectoral strategy evidence, including to develop a data-driven infrastructure, to allow for new research opportunities, and to increase transparency around workforce outcomes through an online portal. Taken together, these presentations on what works in career pathways and sector strategies and how they can be scaled will provide critical information to practitioners and policymakers seeking to implement these strategies.

Costs, Benefits, and Five-Year Impacts from the Workadvance Evaluation
Kelsey Schaberg, MDRC and David H. Greenberg, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Advancing the Sectoral Workforce Approach through Programs, Research, and Data: Lessons from New York City
David S. Berman, New York City Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity

Three-Year Impact Findings from Pathways to Healthcare, a PACE Career Pathways Program
Larry Buron and Karen N. Gardiner, Abt Associates, Inc.

See more of: Employment and Training Programs
See more of: Panel