Discusses the value and purpose of program evaluations, highlights different evaluation tools and techniques, and illustrates how policymakers and program managers can structure and implement evaluations of workforce development programs.

In an effort to foster the more widespread use of program evaluations, ... [this] guide seeks to explain evaluation tools and techniques in a straightforward manner, debunk some evaluation myths, and demonstrate how policymakers and program managers can structure effective, user-friendly evaluations of workforce development programs that best fit their unique program needs" (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: Evaluating Workforce Programs: A Guide to What Policymakers Need to Know to Structure Effective, User-Friendly Evaluations


Major Findings & Recommendations

This brief offers a definition of evaluation, dispels evaluation myths, describes reasons for conducting evaluations, highlights types of evaluations, provides lessons learned from past evaluations of workforce programs, and examines strategies to secure appropriate outside evaluation services. The author concludes with the argument: "In the workforce development field, engaging in more systematic evaluation of both public and privately funded employment and training programs provides a chance for program planners, policymakers, and managers to engage in high-level accountability activities that can show evidence as to the effectiveness of services for unemployed and dislocated workers as well as those seeking educational and career opportunities and advancement" (p.15). "A sample of "Lessons Learned from Past Evaluations of Workforce Programs" offers lessons about Participant Recruitment, Business Engagement, Addressing Participants’ Multiple Barriers to Employment, and Relationships with Outside Agencies (p.12). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff).