“Since its establishment in 2007, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) has invested in Regional Funding Collaboratives which match NFWS funds with funds from other sources to support the development of local workforce partnerships. These partnerships identify local employer workforce needs and design and administer programs to help low-income workers to obtain the skills needed to meet those needs….In 2010, NFWS was awarded a 2-year, $7.7 million grant by the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) to scale up the operations of these programs and to support the creation of new programs” (p.i).
“This report presents the findings of the impact study for three Ohio‐based NFWS/SIF programs: the Healthcare Careers Collaborative, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, and the Construction Sector Partnership. Each of these partnership programs focused on providing training and other services to individuals interested in obtaining jobs and advancing their careers in the programs’ respective focus industries (healthcare, manufacturing, and construction). The impact study relies on a quasi-experimental approach to estimate the impacts of these three programs on the labor market outcomes of participants who were unemployed at program entry by: (1) using the propensity score matching method… and (2) estimating program impacts by comparing the labor market outcomes of NFWS/SIF unemployed program participants with the outcomes of unemployed individuals in the matched comparison groups” (p.i-ii).
- The Health Careers Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati provided a wide range of services including job readiness training, assistance in obtaining employability and training credentials, industry-focused training, and job search assistance.
- The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership used an incremental approach in promoting participant employment and educational advancement, which included job readiness training, assistance in obtaining employability credentials, enrollment in college coursework and specialized apprenticeships, and receipt of job search assistance.
- The Construction Sector Partnership’s pathway model includes pre-apprenticeship programs that provided construction skills and job search services that lead to suitable jobs.
Major Findings & Recommendations
“The results of the quasi-experimental impact study show that all three programs were effective in assisting unemployed participants to obtain employment in the entire 12-month follow‐up period. The Health Careers program was also very effective in promoting participant employment in its focus industry, while the other two programs had modest impacts on this outcome. The Health Careers program also led to significant impacts on job retention and earnings, which were higher than the impacts of the Advanced Manufacturing program. In contrast, there is no evidence that the Construction Partnership program led to higher job retention and earnings. Although all three programs led to positive impacts overall, the Health Careers program had higher impacts than the other two programs, and the Advanced Manufacturing program had positive impacts on a wider range of outcomes than the Construction Partnership program. Disparities in program impacts may be attributed to a number of factors, including the fact that Health Careers focused on an industry that had lower unemployment and higher potential growth during the study period than the focus industries of the other two programs. Overall, the results of this study show that the three Ohio NFWS/SIF programs were effective in assisting unemployed participants to improve their labor market outcomes during the study period. Since these programs represent a wide range of NFWS/SIF programs in terms of their focus industry, services provided, and participant characteristics, these results provide evidence that the NFWS model of supporting local workforce partnership programs is effective for promoting the reemployment of unemployed workers” (p.vi). (Abstractor: Author)