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Category Archives: Research Corner

Here are some new research articles in the workforce development field that you may find interesting. Please check our website regularly for more updates on new research and relevant articles.

22 Meet-Ups Reveal Angst Across Communities: California leaders get real about automation, stranded workers and skills

Technology and market forces are changing the workplace, the talent needs of employers, and the skills workers need to stay in the game. For example, digital skills have become the new basic skill of the workplace; according to Burning Glass, 80 percent of middle-skill jobs require some digital skills. And the shelf life for those skills is getting shorter. The rapid pace of technological change means that workers need regular skill booster shots — that is, access to reskilling over time — to increase their economic resiliency.

In this climate, a growing segment of “stranded workers” are finding that the market for their skills is disappearing and they aren’t able to access those skill booster shots. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 2.5 million Californians — in the prime working ages of 25 to 34 — are in the economically vulnerable situation of having a high school degree but no industry-valued credential. Within the broader California labor force — age 25 to 65 — more than 8 million adults are in this situation. Across the country, this population stands at more than 31 million, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

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“Now Jobs” in Young Adult Workforce Programming



Years into the economic recovery, young adults still face difficulty connecting to the labor market. High unemployment is particularly a problem for young people of color. Many live in communities without a strong employment base, have attended low-performing schools, and lack connections to employed adults who can provide guidance and help them explore career interests, identify labor market opportunities, and navigate application processes. Even when jobs that can provide a good standard of living are available, getting the education and experience required for these can be a costly long-term pursuit.

This brief describes a strategy that helps connect young adults to “now jobs” that address their immediate income needs while continuing to prepare them for long-term career opportunities. “Now Jobs” in Young Adult Workforce Programming explores the role of “now jobs” in young adult workforce development.

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Check out this Aspen Institute research study … a formative evaluation of five workforce organizations’ experiences during the Human Capital Innovation Fund Initiative3.10.17_Investing-in-Workforce-Program-Innovation

Opportunity Rising Los Angeles Disconnected Young Adults

Opportunity Rising Los Angeles Disconnected Young Adults
This infographic summary provides key facts on disconnected youth (ages 18-24) and the education and labor market settings in the Los Angeles region. The information is pulled from a set of reports by Dr. Neeta Fogg and Dr. Paul Harrington at Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy. Full reports can be found at:


Communities that Work Partnership Playbook | Aspen Institute

In April 2015, the Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative jointly launched the Communities that Work Partnership with the US Economic Development Administration. The purpose of this initiative was to document and accelerate the development of employer-led regional workforce initiatives across the country. Seven competitively-selected sites — in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Georgia, New York (upstate and NYC), and Texas — participated in a learning exchange focused on bridging economic and workforce development to strengthen local talent pipelines and improve access to quality employment.

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SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Best Practices Study | National Skills Coalition

A new study finds that skills and credentials are crucial to helping SNAP participants move to self-sufficiency. The SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Best Practices Study concludes that programs that emphasize postsecondary education and training responsive to the labor market have a better chance of improving the employment and earnings prospects of participants.

States looking to establish skills-based SNAP E&T policies can use a new policy toolkit released by NSC last month.

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Skills for Good Jobs: An Agenda for the Next President | National Skills Coalition

Over the next four years there is an opportunity to put millions of Americans on a pathway toward a good paying, middle-skill job, and to do so in a manner that will bring greater capacity and profits to millions of U.S. companies, particularly small- and medium-size firms that need and want to hire locally to fill skilled positions. The Skills for Good Jobs Agenda offers concrete goals and proposals for the next president to achieve this vision.

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Pay for Success Pilots in Two States: Development of the Grant Applications and Initial Implementation | U.S. Dept. of Labor

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded grants to two states, New York and Massachusetts, to operate Pay for Success (PFS) pilot projects. The PFS model, which uses financing from private sector and philanthropic sources, is thought to have the potential to promote innovation and to allow evidence-based practices to be scaled up, thus improving social or environmental outcomes for people and communities.

The two DOL grants, awarded to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), were for approximately $12 million each. Both states also committed state funds to continue the pilots beyond the DOL grant period. Both projects focus on improving employment outcomes and reducing recidivism among newly released ex-offenders. The Massachusetts project targets young male parolees, while the New York pilot focuses on adult ex-offenders generally.

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Issue Brief: Costs of Services Provided by the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs | U.S. Dept. of Labor

Drawing on experiences of 28 randomly selected Local Workforce Investment Areas (local areas), this issue brief provides cost estimates for five Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker programs’ services: visits to the resource room, structured assessments, job clubs, workshops, and one-on-one counselor meetings. Key findings include:

  • Resource room visits and structured assessments were the least costly services—an average of $16 per visit and $13 per assessment.
  • One-on-one counselor meetings cost the most—$143 per hour-long meeting, on average.
  • Service costs differed considerably across local areas. These differences were associated with variation in staff members’ salaries, the amount of time spent delivering services, and the local areas’ overhead costs.
  • Resource room costs and one-on-one counseling meetings were largest, on average, in larger local areas. Visits to a resource room were, on average, most expensive in urban areas.

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Bridging Workforce Development and Corrections Cultures | Mathematica Policy Research

The creation of specialized American Job Centers (AJCs) in jails requires that workforce development agencies and corrections agencies learn about and adjust to each other’s organizational cultures, including priorities, rules, assumptions, and decision-making processes. Although 16 of the 20 local workforce investment boards that received Linking to Employment Activities Pre-release (LEAP) grants had previously provided post-release services to transitioning offenders, only four had prior experience with providing pre-release services in jails. This brief draws on data from visits to all 20 LEAP sites and focuses on the strategies the grantees used during the early planning and implementation period to build common ground between jail and workforce staff in promoting successful reentry for participants.

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PA Workforce Development Association