As the economy moves forward, local workforce development boards (LWDBs) continue to address evolving customer needs. Evidence from these three Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) evaluations on Workforce System Strategies can help LWDBs improve services in an ever-changing environment. The evaluations document descriptive, outcome, and impact findings about programs created to assist at-risk youth and homeless populations develop skills to be successful in the labor market.

Final Report for Housing Works: A Regional Workforce-Housing Alliance
Worksystems, Inc., in Portland, OR established Housing Works alliance to streamline workforce services for public housing residents and prepare them for in-demand careers. Residents participated in career mapping workshops, skills training, internships, and on-the-job training. The implementation evaluation found that participants valued the workshops, training opportunities, and developing skills within a peer cohort.  While the program met its targets for participant enrollment in occupational training, it fell short for the number of participants completing internships or on the job training opportunities. The impact study concluded that participants were 20 percentage points more likely to be employed in the first quarter after exit than public housing residents who did not participate in the program.

Housing and Employment Navigator Program Evaluation
A consortium of LWDBs in Washington State used WIF funds to establish a Housing and Employment Navigator Program. The program trained local workforce agency staff to act as “Navigators” to provide rigorous, individualized career development case management and to assist the heads of homeless families find employment. Evaluators used a random assignment methodology to contrast outcomes for families receiving Navigator services with comparable families who did not. The study found short-term positive impacts on participation in education and training programs, as well as evidence that suggested longer-term increases for employment and retention. Click on the link above to learn more about the program’s impact.

Evaluation of the Linking Innovation, Knowledge, and Employment Program: Final Evaluation Report
The Linking Innovation, Knowledge, and Employment (@LIKE) program was created by a partnership of three Southern California counties with a WIF grant to help disconnected individuals meet educational and employment goals, retain employment, and increase earnings. The program evaluation found that @LIKE not only achieved its stated goals, but also had a statistically significant impact. Over 70 percent of participants completed a Career Awareness Component, a substantial number obtained a career credential, and a significant share of participants received either a paid internship or unsubsidized employment. Read the report for more outcome and impact information.