Documents an evaluation of a set of workplace literacy pilot programs that were funded by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and presents a summary of lessons learned from the initiative.
Presents the "findings from an evaluation of a workplace literacy program funded by the State of Indiana... Working with employers, providers were given considerable latitude to design their own training regimens. The state awarded certificates to workers who achieved certain levels of proficiency in reading, math, critical thinking, problem solving, and computer literacy. The evaluation relied on qualitative and quantitative data. Multiple site visits were undertaken and a survey of participants, learning gains, and earnings histories were quantitatively analyzed" (p.ii). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Key findings include a significant interest in college attendance by incumbent workers, higher-than-expected levels of literacy in pre-assessments, little reliance on contextualization, and the importance of a program champion and supervisory support at workplaces. Business return was not formally measured, but employers and workers reported significant morale gains and frequent productivity gains. "Payoff to Workers: - most participants genuinely were appreciative of their employers for offering the opportunities and significant morale improvements occurred at virtually every site - employees seemed to understand the importance of training and skill acquisition to their own job and career prospects - the possibility of earning college credit was a strong motivator for workers - the opportunity to earn a skill certificate was not a strong motivator for workers" (p.16-17). "Payoff to Companies: - owners and managers viewed training as a key strategy for operating efficiently and as a means to grow their own workers through promotions - the most notable observation about employer involvement was the lack of interest in or attempt to measure potential business outcomes from the initiative" (p.18). (Abstractor:Author)