Provides step-by-step guidance for workforce partnership collaboratives to collect and use qualitative data to better understand the experiences of all program stakeholders and make timely program improvements; describes how qualitative research is embedded into a learning community partnership and informed by the work of SkillUp Washington.

“The purpose of this briefing paper is to provide practical guidance for workforce collaboratives interested in embedding qualitative research into their Learning Community Partnership (LCP). The content in this report is informed by the work of SkillUp Washington, a Seattle-based workforce funder collaborative. The qualitative

research conducted by SkillUp has acted as a catalyst for program improvements and funder investments.

This work complements, and is intended to be reviewed in tandem with, quantitative approaches. The qualitative research strategies presented in this report are aimed at developing a comprehensive view of how different workforce development programs are working from the vantage point of workforce participants, instructors, navigators, college administrators, employers, and other key partners” (p.1).


This report is part of a series of Evaluation Tools, which “provides tangible advice and recommendations on how local organizations including regional funder collaboratives and industry partnerships, can collect and utilize qualitative and quantitative information to improve their work” (p.1).


“This briefing paper is based on the assumption that the workforce collaborative or partnership has an LCP in

place that includes people who plan, manage, implement, and share responsibility for improving or sustaining the program. It also assumes that LCPs: (1) have a strong interest in learning why, when, and how their workforce programs are meeting their goals, contractual requirements, and other shared LCP-determined knowledge and capacity building aims; (2) place a high priority on understanding the qualitative factors accelerating/hindering different outcomes, including enrollment, certificate and credential acquisition, training, job placement and retention rates, and employer engagement; and (3) are interested in integrating and utilizing qualitative and quantitative data to learn about the work under way in order to make timely program improvements” (p.1).


(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)