The Workforce System Strategies community added 43 research and evaluation reports from the Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) to the collection. The WIF supported the use of third-party evaluators to document tiered evidence-based approaches to the delivery of employment and training services. The tiered evidence aimed to increase the use of evaluations to generate proven improvements in the public workforce system. The summaries below describe promising outcomes from the WIF program evaluations.

Final Report for Housing Works: A Regional Workforce-Housing Alliance
Worksystems, Inc., a consortium of public housing authorities and local workforce development boards (LWDBs) on the Oregon-Washington state border, used its WIF grant to establish Housing Works. Housing Works is an initiative designed to streamline workforce services for public housing residents and to better prepare residents for in-demand careers in construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and office work. Among other findings, the impact study found 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 initiative.

 

Evaluation of CareerSource North Central Florida’s Workforce Innovation Fund Grant: Startup Quest®
CareerSource North Central Florida, a LWDB, used its WIF grant to implement the Startup Quest® entrepreneurial training program in eight LWDBs in Florida, including Daytona, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Tampa Bay. The program goals were to provide unemployed and underemployed individuals with associate degrees or above with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to start and operate their own businesses or find wage/salary employment. The program involved an entrepreneurial training program that introduced the processes to form a startup business.  It also gave individuals an opportunity to work with a team and an entrepreneurial mentor to develop a commercialization strategy for an innovative technology. Among other findings, the impact study showed that while Startup Quest® had no impact on self-employment outcomes, it did produce increasing (positive) effects on salaried employment.

 

Final Report on the Fulton, Montgomery, and Schoharie Counties Workforce Development Board, Inc. Steps Up to STEM Program
Steps Up to STEM, a workforce development program, was implemented in 11 counties by the four workforce areas that form New York’s Greater Capital Region Workforce Investment Boards. The program aimed to increase awareness of and access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) career and training opportunities. The program implemented an awareness campaign through videos, panel discussions, and STEM Youth Summary Institutes that focused on middle-skill STEM jobs. Other strategies to increase awareness and access included intentional engagement with the region’s Business Services Representatives. Among other findings, the outcome study found that after participating in the Steps Up to STEM participants' wages on average of $2.55 per hour higher than their wages before participation.