Tired of being the last to know? One simple trick to staying on top of announcements, information, research and data is to make the news come to you. Many organizations have instant, daily, weekly, and sometimes monthly updates. We've assembled the links to key employment, education, and social policy-related sites that you can use to sign up for these alerts.
Key Alternate Workforce Data Sources Federal research and evaluation Web sites are the best source of information on what works in employment, training and education programs and projects, which are published principally by the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. We have compiled the most important sources of such data in one place, with special attention to two U.S. Employment and Training (ETA) sites, the Workforce System Strategies repository and its Office of Policy Development and Research Research Publication Database. TO SEE IT, CLICK "DOWNLOAD NOW" ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS SCREEN.
The U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism, an extremely useful overview for employment and training programs assisting ex-offenders. TO SEE IT, CLICK "DOWNLOAD NOW" ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS SCREEN. WIOA lists ex-offenders as one of the categories of “individuals with a barrier to employment” targeted for assistance. As most inmates are rearrested within 5 years of their release, reintegration assistance — including employment-related help — is essential. Reintegration assistance seeks to both improve the prospects of ex-offenders and to minimize recidivism. The latest U.S. Bureau of Justice Statutes study found that 76.6 percent of prisoners released were rearrested within 5 years, with the majority (43.4) being rearrested within the first year of release. This suggests the importance of assistance within that first year, to reduce recidivism. The literature on what works best for ex-offenders is unfortunately sparse, but has been collected in the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse, with separate sections on employment and education. Few studies meet the level of rigor the Clearinghouse requires, and those for employment and training showed mixed results: the only two projects found to reduce recidivism had no employment impacts, and conversely one project that increased employment didn’t reduce recidivism. Among education projects, postsecondary education had the best impact in reducing recidivism, adult basic education showing results not as positive, vocational education had mixed results, and high school equivalency projects had no recidivism effects. The report also includes a good overview of Federal ex-offender programs, by Federal Department, plus a detailed summary of the Second Chance Act that funds many of these programs.
In its second follow-up of the 2009 class of ninth graders, NCES found that 89 percent graduated on time in 2013, and another 3 percent acquired a high school equivalency certificate. Some 4 percent had dropped out, and an identical percentage remained in high school, presumably due to repeating a grade.
The U.S. National Center for Education Statistics has just issued its 2 leading annual publications, the Digest of Education Statistics and the Condition of Education.
Improving the skills, knowledge, and credential attainment of American workers is an urgent priority. Labor market forecasts point to significant skills shortages looming in the future, despite high unemployment. If left unaddressed, these shortages could slow the process of economic recovery and reduce our competitiveness in the global economy. Career pathway systems offer an effective approach to meeting these challenges. Through better alignment of education, training, and employment services among public agencies, they hold the promise of increasing the number of workers in the U.S. who gain the industry-recognized and academic credentials they need to work in the most in-demand occupations. This new toolkit, released this week by the Employment and Training Administration, will provide a roadmap for States and local areas interested in applying the career pathway approach to solving pressing workforce challenges.
The budget for the U.S. Department of Labor for Fiscal Year 2010 includes a total of $45 million to support and study transitional jobs. This paper describes the origins of the transitional jobs models that are operating today, reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of this approach and other subsidized employment models, and offers some suggestions regarding the next steps for program design and research. The paper was produced for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by MDRC as part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ project, which includes two random assignment evaluations of transitional jobs programs. Transitional jobs programs provide temporary, wage-paying jobs, support services, and job placement help to individuals who have difficulty getting and holding jobs in the regular labor market. Although recent evaluation results have raised doubts about whether TJ programs, as currently designed, are an effective way to improve participants’ long-term employment prospects, the studies have also confirmed that TJ programs can be operated at scale, can create useful work opportunities for very disadvantaged people, and can lead to critical indirect impacts such as reducing recidivism among former prisoners. Thus, in drawing lessons from the recent results, the paper argues that it may be important to think more broadly about the goals of TJ programs while simultaneously testing new strategies that may produce better long-term employment outcomes.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Competency Model Clearinghouse is an online resource that provides validated industry competency models and tools that can be used as the basis of educational programs and curricula for a variety of industry sectors. The industry models support education and workforce development efforts serving as resources to identify employer skill needs in changing and emerging industries; provide business services that support human resource functions such as recruitment, selection, and performance evaluation; develop or evaluate a competency-based curriculum; identify credential requirements for certifications, or licensure; support career exploration and guidance.
New micro-business case studies on career pathways and training
The March issue of the Association of Career and Technical Education's (ACTE) Techniques magazine is dedicated entirely to Apprenticeship. The publication features an article from Employment and Training Administration Assistant Secretary Jane Oates and Office of Apprenticeship Administrator John Ladd entitled, "50,000 Reasons Why Apprenticeship Works! “ Other articles examine nontraditional apprenticeship occupations and how community colleges are involved in the world of apprenticeship training.
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new College Completion Tool Kit to help governors boost college graduation rates. The guide proposes strategies for governors including goal setting, performance based funding, aligning high school standards with college entrance and placement standards, data driven decision making and targeting adults who already have some college, but no degree. The guide highlights governors and states that have made structural and policy changes to K-12 and postsecondary education and identifies the federal funding sources for the work.