These Workforce System Strategies resources illustrate local innovations and present evidence for effective approaches to scaling programs and partnering to remove barriers. The first paper reviews workforce development randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and describes how this research can inform leaders in making decisions about scalability of programs. The second offers recommendations on the role of workforce development boards in addressing childcare barriers for low income jobseekers.
What Works at Scale: A Framework to Scale Up Workforce Development Programs
This discussion paper, published by the Atlanta Federal Reserve, examines a sample of RCTs conducted for government-funded employment, education, and training programs and proposes a framework to evaluate how an evidence-based program will operate at scale or in a new context. The literature review suggests that most evaluations are conducted on a small scale within specific geographic, demographic, and economic contexts and cannot be replicated in other contexts. The framework incorporates mechanism mapping and sensitivity analysis—a method to check assumptions and assess how robust projections are to changes in key assumptions— that may identify weaknesses in an overall strategic plan, suggest adjustments to program implementation plans, and ultimately allow stakeholders to make a more informed decision about the adoption of workforce development programs.
Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) and Childcare
This report provides key insights for a two-phase project that explores the role of LWDBs to meet the childcare needs of low-income parents seeking education and training. It also describes the findings about the core elements of administrative approaches from telephone interviews with LWDB administrators from five local areas in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Texas, and Washington. Researchers found that lack of accessible childcare is a significant barrier for low-income parents seeking jobs, education, training, and vocational skills. Core elements to the administrative approaches include the criticalness of local leadership and vision as LWDBs consider variations in contexts and approaches, state leadership to help facilitate and coordinate childcare with workforce development programs, and the central role of partners to help LWDBs meet childcare needs to support the success of parents, families, the future workforce, and the economy.