Presents the early findings on how four program providers translated the WorkAdvance model, which is based on a sequence of distinct workforce development services, into a workable program and offers implementation recommendations for other organizations seeking to implement a sector-focused career advancement program.

This report presents findings from the implementation analysis of WorkAdvance, a “model [that] offers the following sequence of sector-focused program components…preemeployment and career readiness services, occupational skills training, job development and placement, and postemployment retention and advancement services” (p.iii). “The dual goals of WorkAdvance are to meet employers’ needs for skilled labor while also helping low-income individuals obtain jobs in the targeted sectors, succeed in their jobs, and advance in their careers” (p.ES-2). The report “focuses primarily on what it takes to develop, launch, and operate a program like Work Advance” and describes the WorkAdvance providers; the sample of WorkAdvance participants in the study, the four components of the model; and early lesions about implementation from the perspective of the providers, participants, and employers (p.16). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers: Implementation of a Sector-Focused Career Advancement Model for Low-Skilled Adults

Major Findings & Recommendations

Early findings and implementation lessons are listed below. • “The WorkAdvance model is demanding, requiring providers to work effectively with both employers and program participants and to incorporate a postemployment advancement component that was new to all of the providers. Yet all four providers are now delivering each of the WorkAdvance components, with postemployment services being the least developed. • Screening for program entry was driven by employer needs; as a result, on average, only one in five applicants were eligible and qualified for the program. • The ‘soft skills’ taught in career readiness classes appear to have been as important to participants and employers as the technical skills acquired from occupational skills training. • Early indications are that completion rates for occupational skills training are high, although they vary somewhat across the providers. In most cases, completion of the training led to earning of an industry-recognized credential, which is a critical first step toward getting a job in the sector” (p.iii). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)