Interim findings from an implementation study of the Career Advancement Account (CAA) Demonstration Project, an effort to test a voucher-based, consumer-driven, self-guided approach to providing access to training for the U.S. workforce.

"This report presents interim findings from an implementation study of the Career Advancement Account (CAA) Demonstration Project, an effort to test a voucher-based, consumer-driven, self-guided approach to providing access to training for the U.S. workforce. In the fall of 2006, eight states were awarded grants to participate in the CAA Demonstration Project – Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming each received funding in the amount of $1.5 million to provide CAAs to eligible individuals in the amount of $3,000 per year for up to two years. This interim report provides an overview of the demonstration project from spring 2007 until December 2008 and describes how the states organized and implemented CAAs; what services were provided to assist individuals in making an informed choice about CAAs; the training choices made by CAA recipients; the leveraging of other resources collected to match Federal funds; and the overall level of account and expenditure activity. Perceptions of key CAA stakeholder groups and a preliminary assessment of the early implementation of the project are also offered" (p.I-2). (Abstractor: Author)


Major Findings & Recommendations

Respondents indicate that the CAA demonstration has the following strengths and weaknesses. "Strengths: - The extra funds that come with CAAs are especially valuable to those local areas that have exhausted WIA funds. - Increased access to training occurs as a result of simplified procedures and reduced prerequisites for training (core and intensive services). - Enhanced customer choice is important and highly beneficial for those customers who have already made good quality training decisions. - CAAs, given the relatively low cap and simplified procedures, are well suited as a vehicle for short-term training. Weaknesses: - Enhancing customer choice through reduced case management, though beneficial for some customers, may shortchange those who are very uncertain about their training decisions or those who make ill- informed decisions. - The relatively low cap is unattractive to those seeking longer-term training, and thus, it is an obstacle to reaching enrollment targets. - The absence of supportive services is a significant weakness (noted by both staff and participants), especially for those recipients without their own financial resources to pay for transportation to training, childcare, or other needs" (p.ES-8). (Abstractor: Author)