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Research and Evaluation Projects


Implementing Personal Reemployment Accounts (PRAs): Early Experiences of the Seven Demonstration States


Integration of Workforce and Regional Economic Development


Creating Business Opportunities for Minority Entrepreneurs Project


This demonstration project combines an innovative use of web-based resources with technical assistance and training to help individuals overcome barriers to starting and maintaining a small business. The project supports the WIRED Initiative and the One-Stop Career Center system. A qualitative analysis will document lessons learned and will be disseminated to assist with replication in other regions. The study began in February 2007 and is expected to conclude in January 2010.



Evaluation of the High Growth Job Training Initiative


The High Growth Job Training Initiative (HGTJI) is a major national effort to encourage market-driven strategic partnerships between the private business sector and relevant public entities, including the workforce investment system, community colleges, and economic development agencies. Hundreds of grants have been awarded and they provide a rich source of information about various models and approaches that can be used to achieve the key national goals of building capacity that results in greater training opportunities to meet the needs of high-growth and high-demand industry sectors. This project is studying the implementation of these grants and will document best practices and lessons learned. The study began in February 2006 and is expected to conclude in March 2009.



Evaluation of the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative


Generation I

This study is an implementation evaluation of the efforts of Generation I regions to transform their regional economies and increase opportunities for high-skill, high-wage jobs for employees. The study began in October 2006 and is expected to conclude in June 2010. Please visit http://wdr.doleta.gov/research/keyword.cfm to obtain a copy of the most recent report on this study.

Generations II and III

This study is an implementation evaluation of the efforts of Generation II and III regions to transform their regional economies and increase opportunities for high-skill, high-wage jobs for employees. The study began in October 2007 and is expected to conclude in July 2011.



National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS)


The NFWS is a regional public/private fund collaborative that seeks to educate and train workers and job seekers to address the talent demands of high-growth industries. NFWS will provide technical assistance to workforce partnerships; conduct research on innovative public/private partnerships for workforce development; and develop a learning network to communicate promising practices. The study began in August 2007 and is expected to conclude in May 2009.




Methods of Expanding U.S. Workforce Skills


Building Talent, Jobs and Entrepreneurs for Growth in the New Economy


Lorain County Community College was awarded a grant to aggressively stimulate and accelerate both job and business growth by focusing on high-growth targeted industries. This mission is being accomplished by developing a system of resources that not only address workforce development needs, but also promote growth of existing businesses, especially small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as new business development -- all within identified targeted industries. The study began in March 2005 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.



Collaborative Online Workforce and Education Training Portal Demonstration


This demonstration will pilot an online “portal” that will provide individuals in four states with information on nationally available online certificate and degree programs that respond to identified high-growth areas in each state. The goal is to ensure that all motivated adult learners have access to programs that respond to workforce needs in their communities. The study began in June 2008 and is expected to conclude in June 2010. The demonstration also includes an evaluation that is designed to examine the demonstration on a number of qualitative and quantitative research questions. The evaluation began in June 2008 and is expected to conclude in June 2011.



Community-Based and High Growth Job Training Initiatives:


This research project is intended to identify successful strategies and practices developed by High Growth Job Training and Community-Based Job Training grantees for providing new and incumbent workers with the foundational math, literacy, and other competencies that are prerequisites to higher-level skills training. This project flows from the twin premises that basic skills deficiencies are a significant barrier to occupational skills upgrading for many American workers, and that sector-specific training provides pathways to high-skill job opportunities. The project will provide models for integrating basic skills training into industry sector job training. This study began in June 2006 and will conclude in December 2008.



Evaluation of Apprenticeship


The apprenticeship evaluation will provide, for the first time, systematic information on sponsor views, particularly in new high-growth industries, on the costs and benefits of apprenticeship, types of data maintained, linkages with the One-Stop system, administration of the apprenticeship system, and what sponsors would like to see changed. Data will be collected via a survey of sponsors of registered apprenticeship and visits to five states for face-to-face interviews with key apprenticeship stakeholders.



Evaluation of Rapid Response Services and Funding


This evaluation will provide systematic information on rapid response services for dislocated workers. The study will look at how these services are organized, funded, and implemented, as well the challenges states and localities encounter in providing these services. Data collection includes a one-time survey of all state rapid response coordinators and of local workforce officials in the four states where rapid response functions are delegated to the local level. Survey findings and site visits will be used to identify promising practices and to understand the extent of collaboration in economic development and layoff aversion strategies. The study began in September 2006 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.



Evaluation of the Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Self-Directed Services


The evaluation, which includes both quantitative and qualitative analyses, will examine the impact and cost-effectiveness of self directed services. The study will estimate the impacts of the use of self-directed services by comparing the outcomes of a large sample of self-directed service users who are unemployment insurance claimants with a comparison group of claimants who do not use these services. The study began in July 2001 and is expected to conclude in 2008.



Evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program


This study of the TAA program will attempt to determine the effect of the TAA program on the employment and earnings of workers who receive TAA benefits and services, how the program operates at the state and local levels, what participants experience in the program, and how well TAA is integrated with other programs in the One-Stop system. The evaluation includes a quasi-experimental net impact study using matched comparison groups, as well as a process study. Data will be collected via a baseline survey of nearly 8,000 participants and comparison group members. The study began in January 2004 and is expected to conclude in May 2011.



Individual Training Account Experiment Extension


This study examines the long-run impacts of the three treatments and an exploration of a non-experimental control group to the evaluation to help determine the incremental net-impacts of training on participants’ employment, retention, and earnings. The study began in January 2008 and is expected to conclude in January 2010.



Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (CAAs) Demonstration Evaluation


This evaluation examines individual project and overall grant program objectives and documentation of project activities. The comprehensive process analysis addresses topics such as: how CAAs were implemented and operated; the services provided by state/local staff to assist individuals make an informed choice about training; the types of expenditures made through the CAAs; descriptions of participants’ acceptance rates, employment rates, and retention rates among others. The study began in October 2007 and is expected to conclude in July 2009.



National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) Secondary Analysis


The 2003 NAAL is the first examination of the literacy skills of America’s adults since the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey. This analysis will use the employment and training data elements as the basis for the research giving the Employment and Training Administration critical information on the literacy levels of low-wage and under-employed workers, dislocated workers, limited English proficiency workers, and workers in high-growth occupations. The goal is to examine the relationship between literacy and employment and training, welfare participation, health, community participation, family literacy, computer use and technology, and literacy practices. The study began in October 2007 and is expected to conclude in September 2008.



Preparing Rural Science and Math Teachers through Distance Learning Demonstration Project


Through the Western Governors University (WGU), a nonprofit, private university founded and supported by the governors of 19 western states, a new competency-based training model will be tested. The new training model is designed to increase the number of qualified rural teachers, particularly in the hard-to-fill disciplines of math and science. WGU offers academic support, mentoring throughout the program, and professional development opportunities for up to one year following a student’s graduation from the program. The online program allows individuals to continue residing in their communities while attending classes. One-Stop Career Centers play an important role in recruiting and placeing of participants in rural school districts. The study began in February 2007 and is expected to conclude in March 2011.



Transitional Jobs Reentry Research Demonstration


This demonstration is testing whether transitional jobs and other special services are more effective than a basic job readiness, job placement model. The research sample will include a total of 1,200 people - 600 in each research group - across all five sites (North Chicago; Cook County Chicago; Greater Detroit; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Ramsey County, Minnesota). The study began in June 2006 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.




Increasing the Labor Market Participation of Underutilized Populations


Demand-Side Youth Offender Demonstration Project Phase II


This demonstration project uses an intermediary business-driven method of workforce development to add new knowledge about employer partnerships and linkages. The project is operating in four sites: Chicago, Miami, New York and Los Angeles. The demonstration began in July 2005 and ended in April 2008 This demonstration also includes an evaluation that examines the efficacy of using a business intermediary model to serve youth offenders and at-risk youth, and to determine the impact of services delivered on participant’s employment, retention, and earnings. The evaluation began in July 2007 and is expected to conclude in October 2008.



Employment Retention and Advancement Study


This project, coordinated with Department of Health and Human Services, will determine the impacts and cost-effectiveness of programs designed to help current or former TANF recipients or other low-income individuals retain their current jobs and advance in the labor market. ETA provides support for the evaluation to focus on the role of the One-Stop Centers in providing retention and advancement services to former welfare recipients. State Workforce Agencies and local workforce investment areas partnered with State Welfare Agencies for the second round of site selection for the study to ensure that the selected sites have a strong set of workforce development services to aid in the retention and advancement process. The study began in September 1999 and is expected to conclude in September 2008.



Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ (HtE) Demonstration and Evaluation


Coordinating with the Department of Health and Human Services, this project targets welfare recipients with multiple barriers to employment and no labor force attachment. The demonstration enhances employment outcomes for current or former Temporary Assistance to needy Families recipients and other low-income parents who face serious obstacles to steady work. ETA provides guidance to support the component of this study that focuses on the role of the One-Stop Career Centers in providing services to help the hard-to-employ find employment, and to identify the impact of services on the employment and earnings of participants. The study began in September 2001 and is expected to conclude in May 2011.



Evaluation of Building School District-Based Strategies for Reducing Youth Involvement in Gangs and Violent Crime Through a Workforce Development Approach


This is an implementation evaluation designed to examine school district-based grantee strategies aimed at reducing youth involvement in gangs and violent crime through education and employment activities. The evaluation will describe the models and processes planned and implemented, the resulting outcomes, and assess grantees' linkages with partners. The study began in July 2007 and is expected to conclude in June 2010.



Evaluation of Latino Coalition Youth Offender Project


This evaluation is designed to examine the labor market attachment and recidivism outcomes of faith-based and community-based agencies serving at-risk and adjudicated Latino youth. The evaluation will also examine the program elements/services that lead to successful outcomes. The study began in July 2007 and is expected to conclude in October 2008.



Evaluation of Mentoring, Educational, and Employment Strategies to Improve Academic, Social, and Career Pathway Outcomes in Persistently Dangerous Schools


This is an implementation evaluation designed to examine strategies aimed at reducing violence in persistently dangerous schools through a combination of mentoring, education, employment, case management, and violence prevention activities. The evaluation will describe the models and processes planned and implemented, the resulting outcomes, and assess grantees' linkages with partners. The study began in July 2008 and is expected to conclude in July 2012.



Evaluation of YouthBuild


Between 2004 and 2006, ETA awarded an eighteen million dollar youth offender demonstration grant to YouthBuild USA. Through these grants, adjudicated youth participate in a training program that combines academic instruction with construction skill development to build affordable housing in their communities. The evaluation seeks to document the YouthBuild model, examine its implementation across the 34 sites, and identify program practices that appear to lead to successful outcomes. The study began in June 2005 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.



Evaluation of the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative (PRI)


This evaluation will examine the development of employment-centered programs for ex-offenders that incorporate the key components of the initiative. Specifically, the evaluation will examine who the PRI grantees and their partners are; the principal approaches to organizing, implementing, operating and administering PRI projects; the patterns of cooperation and linkages that evolve between PRI projects and partners such as the One-Stop system, the criminal justice system, local employers, and other stakeholders; PRI participants and the services they receive; and the short-term outcomes of PRI, including employment, degree attainment, housing, substance abuse, and recidivism. The study began in June 2005 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.



Evaluation of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)


This evaluation will examine the program's success in meeting its goals of fostering useful part-time employment opportunities in community service for low-income older Americans and fostering individual economic self-sufficiency. The study began in July 2007 and is expected to conclude in June 2012.



Jobs for Veterans Act Priority of Service (POS) Provision Evaluation


In response to recommendations the Government Accountability Office made, this evaluation assesses the extent to which POS requirements are being met, with a particular focus on implementation of POS at the state and local levels. The evaluation includes site visits to four states as well as interviews at the state level. The evaluation will also determine the feasibility of conducting a customer survey. The study began in July 2007 and is expected to conclude in June 2009.



Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Workers Initiative (LEPHWI) Evaluation


LEPHWI grantees are serving limited English proficient individuals from a variety of language backgrounds including Hispanic, Somali, Ethiopian, and Southeast Asian. This evaluation intends to asses the effectiveness of creative teaching methodologies that simultaneously enhance English language and occupational skills in order to respond to specific workforce challenges identified by employers in the five geographic areas where this initiative is being implemented. The evaluation will examine the effects of the new learning strategies in outcomes such as language and occupational skills gains, job attainment, wage increases, and job retention and advancement opportunities. The study began in June 2006 and is expected to conclude in 2009.



New Americans Centers (NACs) Demonstration Project


NACs aim to assist immigrants in Iowa and Arkansas to become part of local communities through employment, language, immigration assistance, and other supportive services. With state funds, Iowa established three pilot New Iowan Centers and subsequently established four new centers to determine how workforce development agencies can better serve new immigrants and communities. Arkansas, unlike Iowa, opened four centers for the first time. In both states, NACs reside within existing local One-Stop Career Centers and bring together partners from workforce development, social services and other community-based organizations, and local Chambers of Commerce. The study began in July of 2005 and concluded in June of 2008.

The demonstration also includes an evaluation designed to examine the employment and civic engagement outcomes of NACs. The evaluation began in July 2005 and will conclude in December of 2008.



Performance-Based Job Training and Education Demonstration Project


This demonstration project will provide services and engage employers to bridge the economic gap experienced by residents of the Twin Cities by assisting low-income, ex-offenders and individuals at-risk of court or gang involvement to re-enter their community and obtain and retain good jobs with good wages. The demonstration will test a performance-based job training and education program by offering services through three program components that include a 13-month core program, and pre- and post-release transitional services. Central to the demonstration is that employers pay a placement and retention fee when they hire a participant, operating much like a private staffing agency. The study began in January 2007 and is expected to conclude in January 2011.



Use of Unemployment Insurance (UI) and the Employment Service (ES) by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Leavers


This research study focuses on the use of UI and ES services by TANF leavers. Using linked administrative data from TANF/UI/ES programs from four states, it will be possible to determine the extent of use by former TANF recipients who obtained employment since passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Three reports will be delivered to ETA covering: 1) the use of UI by TANF leavers, 2) patterns of self-sufficiency and dependency among TANF leavers, and 3) use of core and intensive employment services by TANF leavers. The study began in June of 2008 and will conclude in June of 2009.



Voice of the Hispanic Workforce Experience


This research project seeks to understand Hispanic perspectives on the economy, jobs, and the workforce system and increase the capacity of workforce investment boards to serve Hispanics. The project includes: 1) analysis of secondary statistics of the Hispanic labor force; 2) collection and analysis of first-person accounts of workforce experience in three sites; 3) collection and analysis about innovations in serving Hispanic workers; and 4) exploration of promising programs and services for improving skills and expanding career opportunities that lead to higher earnings. The study began in March 2005 and is expected to conclude in July 2009.



Workforce System One-Stop Services for Public Assistance and Other Low-Income Populations


The primary focus of this research will be to conduct field network research that will result in case studies of how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients are served in One-Stop Career Centers. The research will attempt to define the nature of the cooperative, administrative, operational and financial relationships between local Workforce Investment Act programs and TANF programs in selected states and areas. This study began in June 2008 and will conclude in June 2010.




Using State-Level Administrative Data to Measure Progress and Outcomes


100 Smallest Local Workforce Investment Areas


This study will examine Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIAs), primarily through survey and administrative data. Specifically, the study will examine the 100 smallest LWIAs, the 100 largest LWIAs, and a random sample of LWIAs from the middle range (based on Program Year 2006 allocations). The study includes a look at the relationship between the allocation size and geography, funding streams, level/quality of services, partnerships, and performance. The study began in July 2007 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.



Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Net Impact Study


The WIA Net Impact Study is a rigorous, non-experimental net impact study of the receipt of WIA core/intensive services and the incremental impact of WIA training on participant’s earning, employment and retention. The study uses administrative data such as unemployment insurance wage and benefit records, public labor exchange records, and WIA Standard Record data, among others. The study began in October 2007 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.




Post-Secondary Education and Job Training


Community-Based Job Training Initiative: Community Colleges as Workforce Intermediaries


This project is designed to identify the “intermediary” attributes and functions of community colleges that are Community-Based Job Training grantees. The project builds on the U.S. Department of Labor’s investment strategy of supporting broader workforce functions in community colleges, rather than only delivering skill training to high-wage, high-growth industries. The research will identify workforce intermediary functions of the colleges and how they challenge traditional workforce and educational roles of colleges. It will also illuminate strategies that promote effective practice in future initiatives. This study began in June 2006 and will conclude in December 2008.



Evaluation of Community-Based Job Training Grants


This evaluation will document the key differences and similarities across Community-Based Job Training grantees' approaches to strengthening the role of community colleges in promoting the U.S. workforce's full potential. To accomplish this, the evaluation will examine the design, implementation, and outcomes of each grantee. The evaluation will also provide information about the feasibility of conducting a net impact evaluation. The study began in July 2008 and is expected to conclude in January 2010.



Evaluation of the Beneficiary Choice Program


This study is a comprehensive implementation evaluation focused on understanding the implementation and cumulative outcomes of the Beneficiary Choice Initiative Program. The unit of analysis is both program-wide and the individual participants who will be engaged in employment-related services.



Implementation Evaluation of the Career Advancement Account (CAA) Demonstrations


CAAs are being piloted in eight volunteer states with the goal of demonstrating their value as a new service delivery design approach for the workforce investment system. This implementation study examines the extent to which both the individual CAA project and the overall grant program objectives are being achieved and documents project activities undertaken for possible replication in other states. The evaluation will include qualitative analysis of key CAA customer and stakeholder groups for each site (e.g., participants, staff, counselors, vendors, and administrators). Data collection will include site visits, structured discussions, and collection of data from participating states, among other methods. The study began in June 2007 and is expected to conclude in June 2009.



Integrating Entrepreneurship into the Workforce Investment System


This study will detail best practices and lessons learned from entrepreneurship assistance programs at the federal, state, and local level. The study will make recommendations for enhancing approaches for infusing entrepreneurship technical assistance and training throughout the workforce investment system. This study began in July 2008 and will conclude in June 2010.



Job Requirements Approach (JRA) Pilot


The JRA will measure generic skills required in the workplace. It is one component of a larger survey, the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC), an international survey of adult skills and competencies, being conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD plans to develop and field-test the JRA component of the PIAAC to test workplace literacy skills in its member nations. In addition to the United States (U.S.), the JRA survey will be pilot tested in four other countries (Australia, France, Greece, and Korea). ETA is implementing the U.S. pilot test of the JRA. The study began in September 2007 and is expected to conclude in June 2009.



Lifelong Learning Account Pilot with State of Maine


This pilot links private resources to the public workforce system using Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs), which are individual asset accounts to finance education and training so that workers can upgrade their skills to meet the needs of business and industry while helping to advance their own careers and earnings potential. Maine will work with the Information Technology, Hospitality, Advanced Manufacturing sectors to offer LiLAs to incumbent workers. CAEL is a partner in this effort. The state of Maine is the grantee implementing LiLAs. The pilot will help ETA learn about how the new tool of LiLAs can be implemented on a statewide basis. The study began in July 2006 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.



Project GATE II: Dislocated Worker Grants


ETA has awarded new grants to the states of Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, and Minnesota to conduct a replication of the successful Project GATE entrepreneurial training model for dislocated workers. Alabama and North Carolina are providing Project GATE services to dislocated workers in rural areas and Virginia and Minnesota are providing Project GATE services to dislocated workers over the age of fifty. These grants began in July of 2008 and will conclude in June of 2010.



Project GATE: Growing America through Entrepreneurship


This innovative demonstration project, known as Growing America through Entrepreneurship, or Project GATE, helped emerging entrepreneurs in rural and urban communities achieve the American dream of owning their own business. Economic freedom is the foundation for individual success and prosperity. Project GATE supports economic freedom through promoting individual entrepreneurship. Project GATE seeks to energize local small business creation and help diverse urban and rural populations create, support and expand small businesses. The study began in July 2002 and is expected to conclude in December 2009. The most recent Project GATE report can be found at: http://wdr.doleta.gov/research/keyword.cfm.




Unemployment Insurance (UI)


Unemployment Insurance Benefits Program Research Study


This study, building on past research, will examine the effectiveness of the federal-state UI benefits program. The study examines specific cross-sections of the UI population (recipients, exhaustees, and ineligible claimants) to determine key characteristics and program experiences. It also explores the effectiveness of UI as an economic stabilizer, and its effectiveness in meeting reemployment goals. This study expands ETA’s understanding of: Changes in the labor market, population, and economy pertinent to the UI program; Changes in UI program outcomes, particularly duration of benefit receipt; Characteristics of who does and does not receive UI benefits; Macro-economic stabilization effects of the UI program; and an evaluation of the Reemployment Eligibility Assessment grant program. This study began in June 2004 and will conclude in June 2009.




Other


Energy Workforce Study


This study explores the labor market and workforce needs of the energy sector (such as renewable, electric, nuclear, oil, natural gas, and mining industries). ETA will utilize the Department of Energy’s expertise in the energy sector to carry out the research. The study began in June 2008 and is expected to conclude in June 2010.



Evaluation of the H-2A Labor Certification Process and the Farm Labor Market


This evaluation is assessing the performance of the H-2A alien labor certification process. Part I will describe the significant legislative, regulatory, and policy changes that have occurred since 1952 and examine the certification process to identify streamlining opportunities while preserving protections for American workers. Part II will analyze farm labor and agricultural production data and model the supply and demand of farm labor. The study began in May 2007 and is expected to conclude in December 2008.



Long-Term Health Care Careers Study


This study is looking at Long-Term Health Care Careers through a joint task force with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The purpose of this task force is to assess the career opportunities in long-term health care and to report on various strategies to create career ladders in this field. This study began in June 2006 and will conclude in June 2009.



The National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS


This annual survey, which the Department of Labor (DOL) has continually carried out since 1988, collects data on the demographic, employment, and health characteristics of hired crop farm workers. The data are collected in-person over three interviewing cycles. DOL, the Department of Education, and several agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services use the survey’s findings to target program services to migrant and seasonal farm workers and their dependents. NAWS findings are also used to inform the agricultural industry about the supply side of the farm labor market.

Related Weblinks: Visit the NAWS website at: www.doleta.gov/agworker/naws.cfm