Sector Employment for Young Adults Client: Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative BWFC supports a network of industry workforce partnerships as part of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. This study assessed the capacity of sector partnerships to expand job training, credentialing, retention and advancement services and wraparound supports to young adults, with a particular focus on disconnected youth. Examined existing programs, youth employment best practices, and factors affecting Baltimore's capacity to mount effective sector-focused youth employment strategies, with recommendations.
Evaluation of SkillWorks Boston Client: Mt. Auburn Associates, Inc. SkillWorks is a dual-customer, sector-focused, partnership model designed to help low-skilled, entry-level jobseekers attain family supporting jobs and businesses find and retain skilled employees. The five-year evaluation assesses strategies designed to build the capacity of workforce partnerships, create a continuum of workforce development services, and promote responsive public policies and systems reform. SkillWorks is managed by the Boston Foundation and supported by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.
Culinary Arts Training Program Evaluation Client: Reconcile New Orleans, Inc. Evaluation of a culinary arts training program for at-risk youth and associated social enterprises. Assessing effectiveness of existing workforce development programs and operations, documenting best practices from the field, and developing indicators and tools for ongoing self-assessment and sustainability. Providing technical assistance to inform growth strategies that strengthen linkages to food services and hospitality sectors and improve job retention and career advancement outcomes for students.
Job Training in Non-Traditional Occupations Client: Washington Area Women's Foundation Assessed the effectiveness of the Washington Area Women's Foundation's pooled investments in non-traditional job training programs for low-income women with young children. Study included a literature review and case studies of selected WAWF grantees and examined strategies to address the basic skills gap, expand sector-based partnerships, and mitigate barriers to women's participation in and completion of non-traditional jobs training programs. The final report is the basis for WAWF's revised strategy.
Site Selection for National Jobs Initiative Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Directed four-person team of field observers that monitored the activities of eleven sites applying for planning grants under the Casey Foundation's Jobs Initiative, an eight-year, $30 million effort to stimulate job opportunities for disenfranchised people and major labor market reforms. Designed protocol for conducting on-site observations and interviews, made recommendations for site selection, and prepared report of findings. Also provided expert advice to the Jobs Initiative in the area of program evaluation.
Strategic Investment Review Panel Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Member of Strategic Investment Plan review panel, a technical assistance and evaluation team assembled to provide ongoing input and advice to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Jobs Initiative. Examined efforts by six sites to stimulate labor market connections for disadvantaged jobseekers. Assessed performance measures, outcomes indicators, and policy implications by site and in the aggregate. Made recommendations to foundation managers.
Strategic Planning for Workforce Development Systems Reform Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Prepared National Investor Outcomes Outline for the final implementation phase of the Casey Foundation's eight-year, $30 million jobs initiative. Expanded core set of givens and assumptions to incorporate a systems change focus to translate the lessons of the Jobs Initiative into effective public and private policies for connecting low-income workers to good jobs. The outcomes outline is used by sites to guide the revision of their strategic investment plans.
New Orleans Jobs Initiative Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Provided ongoing technical assistance to build capacity of the New Orleans Jobs Initiative, one of six sites involved in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's national workforce development demonstration. Provided assistance in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development, and regional economic analysis. Developed analytic framework and commissioned sector employment research in manufacturing, construction, and health care. Efforts resulted in the site being removed from probationary status and advancing to the next phase of the initiative.
Research and Analysis of Community College Partnerships Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Assessed the efforts of sites participating in the Casey Foundation's Jobs Initiative to work with two-year technical, vocational, and community colleges. Examined strategies and programs to promote job opportunities for low-wage, low-skilled adults and workforce development systems reform. Identified model partnerships, training curricula, and evidence of internal program/policy shifts within the colleges. A case study methodology was used, which included a literature review, document reviews, and on-site interviews.
Community College Partnerships for Economic Opportunity Client: University of Illinois at Chicago Conducted a series of case studies to examine partnerships between community colleges and community-based organizations that have resulted in expanded employment options for economically disenfranchised people. Documented best practices of bridge programs offered by community colleges that prepare low-skilled people to enter technical programs. This research was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and resulted in increased partnerships with community colleges.
Assessment of Workforce Development System Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Conducted an assessment of the Baltimore region's workforce development system and its capacity to initiate and sustain a major jobs initiative. Examined publicly supported employment and training programs, community-based capacity, and key industry sectors. While this assessment resulted in Baltimore's exclusion from a national jobs demonstration it prompted civic leaders to elevate workforce development as a key strategy area. With Brandon Roberts and Associates.
Assessment of Job Training Investments in Baltimore Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Assessed employment and training policies and programs affecting the workforce development system in Baltimore to identify how additional investments can leverage increased job opportunities for inner city residents. This is a follow-up to an earlier assessment of Baltimore's capacity to initiate a major jobs program. With Brandon Roberts and Associates.
Technical Assistance to National Workforce Development Demonstration Client: National League of Cities Three-year demonstration undertaken by the National League of Cities to help local governments develop strategies to link economic development and workforce development to benefit residents of low income communities. Provided advice during the design and site selection processes. Provided ongoing technical assistance to site team in the areas of labor market analysis, regional economic analysis, sector analysis, strategic planning, organizational development, and evaluation. Promoted sector strategy in manufacturing.
Evaluation of Farmworker Training Programs Client: Cosmos Corporation Conducted research and case studies of U.S. Department of Labor programs designed to help migrant and seasonal farmworkers move into upgraded agricultural jobs. Examined public-private partnerships between grantees, governments and industry groups to deliver instruction, training, and job development opportunities to farmworkers. Methodology included literature and document reviews, on-site interviews with employers, service providers and farmworkers, and observation of classroom training.
Community Building Through School Reform Client: Chicago Annenberg Challenge Documented the reform and restructuring efforts of the Chicago Vocational High School as a model of public education reform that focuses on reconnecting schools with communities and improving classroom practice through networks and partnerships. Also examined the school's linkages to community and technical colleges. Best practices were documented for replication.