Workforce development policy includes a range of programs that fund or provide for job training, skills development, and employment services. To understand best practices in the field, Urban Institute researchers analyze workforce and industry trends and evaluate workforce development policies and programs, such as the Workforce Investment Act, One-Stop Career Centers, apprenticeships, youth employment programs, and older worker programs. Evidence shows that workforce development works but is most effective when it’s long-term, intensive, and directly related to specific jobs.
While the private sector funds most job training, disadvantaged youth and adults may be able to access only public programs. Workforce development has raised earnings for low-wage workers, but federal spending through the Workforce Investment Act has dropped by more than 70 percent since 1979.
Literature Review in Brief: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the Affordable Care Act (Research Brief)
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This brief highlights key points from the report Literature Review: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the ACA—Background and Implications for Evaluating HPOG regarding the structure of and employment trends in the healthcare industry, implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for entry-level employment in healthcare, and resulting challenges and opportunities for training and support programs. The brief was developed as part of the HPOG Implementation, Systems and Outcome Project, which is being led by Abt Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute.
Interim Outcome Study Report: National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) to Serve TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Individuals (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: November 20, 2014||Publication Date: November 20, 2014|
The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program funds training programs in high-demand healthcare professions, targeted to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals. This report is part of the HPOG National Implementation Evaluation (NIE) and provides interim results on the key outcomes of HPOG healthcare training completion and employment, as well as on participants’ pre-training activities and receipt of support services and employment assistance. This study includes 27 HPOG grantees and the report provides information about the first 12 months of HPOG participation for 8,634 individuals.
The First Year of Accelerating Opportunity: Implementation Findings from the States and Colleges (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 24, 2014||Publication Date: September 11, 2014|
Beginning in 2012, the Accelerating Opportunity (AO) initiative provided $1.6 million in grants to five states. The grants were to help community colleges create career pathway programs to enroll students with low basic skills into for-credit career and technical education courses to improve their educational and employment outcomes. A rigorous and comprehensive evaluation of AO includes a non-experimental impact study, an implementation study, and a cost-benefit analysis. This first report provides key findings on the pathways, students, resources, partnerships, culture shifts, and policy developments from the first year of implementation of the initiative.
Preparing Youth for College and Career: A Process Evaluation of Urban Alliance (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 23, 2014||Publication Date: September 23, 2014|
This report presents baseline and process study findings of an evaluation of the Urban Alliance high school internship program, which provides training, mentoring, and work experience to high school seniors from distressed communities in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Chicago. The report, which focuses on the program's operations in DC and Baltimore in the 2011–12 and 2012–13 program years, explains the internship program model and its various components; describes the characteristics of youth participants; and presents findings from dozens of interviews and focus groups with program staff, youth, job mentors, and other stakeholders.
Literature Review: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the ACA—Background and Implications for Evaluating HPOG (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 16, 2014||Publication Date: September 16, 2014|
This report reviews the literature on the policy context of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program, and the challenges and opportunities related to developing healthcare occupational training and support programs. It discusses the structure of the healthcare industry and trends in healthcare employment, implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for entry-level employment in healthcare, and resulting challenges and opportunities for training programs. The report was developed as part of the HPOG Implementation, Systems and Outcome Project, which is being led by Abt Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute.
Expanding Apprenticeship Training In Canada: Perspectives From International Experience (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: June 12, 2014||Publication Date: March 01, 2014|
Concern about a rising "skills gap" alongside high unemployment is emerging as a key competitiveness issue in North America. Among Canadian companies, 59 per cent of department executives expressed concern about the availability of needed skills over the next two years. This report examines the rationale for expanding apprenticeship training in Canada and the implications for policy and practice. It considers the benefits of a robust apprenticeship system, as well as potential concerns, describes the scale and composition of the current Canadian apprenticeship system, and concludes with recommendations for increasing apprenticeships in Canada.
Integrating Community Health Workers into a Reformed Health Care System (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: May 08, 2014||Publication Date: May 08, 2014|
Community health workers (CHWs) can help to achieve the goals of the Affordable Care Act—better health, better care, and lower costs. CHWs are typically laypeople whose close connections with a community enable them to win trust and improve health and health services for those they serve. However, challenges with financing structures, workforce training, and service organization can hinder the expansion of the CHW workforce. This paper highlights the roles played by CHWs, assesses evidence of their achievements, describes the increasing opportunities for them under health care reform, and considers productive next steps for growing the CHW workforce.
Opportunities for Community Health Workers in the Era of Health Reform (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: March 26, 2014||Publication Date: March 26, 2014|
Health reform has created a watershed moment for community health workers (CHWs). Both coverage expansions and a new focus on creating value in health care offer new opportunities for CHWs. This paper assesses existing impediments to and enablers of the expansion of CHW employment. It catalogues how the ACA and other health reform efforts affect prospects for sustainable employment for CHWs. It also looks at workforce issues, insurance enrollment needs, affordability and accessibility of services, and changes in approaches to public health and prevention. The paper concludes by highlighting particular promising opportunities for CHWs in both public and private sectors.
|Posted to Web: March 26, 2014||Publication Date: March 26, 2014|