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(Nov 21 2014)   SelectUSA Investment Summit Scheduled for March 23-24, 2015, Registration to Open Soon; November 24 Webinar to Discuss Infrastructure Financing, Public-Private Partnerships 
 
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(Nov 21 2014)   New Report from NACO: Rural Counties Growing Economies with Local Assets and Regional Partners 
 
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(Nov 21 2014)   BCFP Seeks Comment on Partnership with LEAs to Develop Model to Incorporate Financial Education Curriculum into K-12 
 
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(Nov 21 2014)   BLS Seeks Comments on the Proposed Extension of Information Collection in Support of Cooperative Agreements with State Workforce Agencies 
 
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(Nov 21 2014)   Department of Energy Issues RFI on the National Training and Education Resource; Outlines Plans for Transfer of Stewardship to the Open Source Community 
 
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(Nov 20 2014)   Accelerating Opportunity Initiative: Aspen Institute and Urban Institute Release First Year Evaluation Report 
 
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(Nov 20 2014)   ETA Requests Comments on Proposed Revisions to Senior Community Service Employment Program Performance Measurement System 
 
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(Nov 20 2014)   Department of Commerce Announces Next Phase of Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Initiative 
 
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(Nov 20 2014)   Human Trafficking: HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on Data Collection Form for Child Victims; Seeks Comment on 'Rescue & Restore Regional Program Project Data' with Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Components 
 
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(Nov 20 2014)   EPA Announces December 4 Webinar on FY 2015 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Application Guidelines/Requests for Proposals 
 
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(Nov 19 2014)   U.S. Cluster Mapping Official Launch: Presentations and PowerPoints Now Available 
 
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(Nov 19 2014)   Retirement of QWI Online and Industry Focus 
 
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(Nov 5 2014)   Census Bureau Seeks Public Comment on Excision of Questions from ACS; Proposes "Undergraduate Field of Degree" for Removal 
 
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(Nov 5 2014)   Health Information Technology: HHS Publishes Meeting Schedules for 2014 Standards and Policy Committees; Proposes Reinstatement of Report 
 
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(Nov 4 2014)   HUD Releases Two Year Progress Report on Sandy Rebuilding Strategy 
 
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(Nov 4 2014)   Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers: MDRC Reports on Implementation of Sector-Focused Career Advancement Model for Low-Skilled Adults 
 

 

Description

 

SelectUSA Investment Summit Scheduled for March 23-24, 2015, Registration to Open Soon; November 24 Webinar to Discuss Infrastructure Financing, Public-Private Partnerships


SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide program to promote and facilitate business investment into the United States, housed within the Department of Commerce. SelectUSA services for EDOs include on-the-ground support from U.S. Commercial Service offices in more than 70 international markets; counseling on best practices for FDI attraction and reshoring; information and data on FDI trends; an ombudsman service for issues involving federal regulations; and high-level investment advocacy assistance.

The Department has announced that registration will open soon for the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit to be held on March 23-24, 2015, noting:

As those who attended last year can attest, the first SelectUSA Investment Summit was a tremendous success, and next year’s will be even bigger and better. While the team at SelectUSA works closely with economic development organizations (EDOs) every day of the year, the 2015 Investment Summit will pull out all the stops and bring investors from around the world to meet with U.S. EDOs under one roof.

When you register for the Summit, you’ll get access to our robust matchmaking system where you can arrange one-on-one meetings with potential investors. You'll learn about the latest trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) and reshoring from high-profile speakers, as well as practical resources to help you more effectively attract investment. You'll also be able to connect with other economic developers, service providers, and government officials who can share tools and information to help you bring more jobs home. More ...

On Monday, November 24, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) Dr. Elaine Buckberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of Treasury, will discuss the President’s Build America Investment Initiative and U.S. infrastructure finance. In this webinar, the first of three leading up to the SelectUSA Summit, Dr. Buckberg will explain the purpose of the Build America Investment Initiative, demystify public-private partnerships (PPPs), and explain how PPPs serve as another pathway for financing infrastructure projects inregions, states, and communities. She will discuss the rationale for PPPs, key PPP structures, and innovative federal financing programs that can complement PPPs or be used for traditional procurements. Following Dr. Buckberg’s comments, the webinar will be open for Q&A.

Please e-mail Abigail.Bowman@trade.gov to register!

 

New Report from NACO: Rural Counties Growing Economies with Local Assets and Regional Partners


The National Association of Counties (NACo ) recently released a new report -- Cultivating a Competitive Advantage: How Rural Counties are Growing Economies with Local Assets and Regional Partners -- highlighting how rural counties are pursuing asset-based economic development initiatives that create jobs and build wealth while preserving rural landscapes, cultural and heritage.

The report features 15 rural counties that are finding innovative ways to leverage assets to sustain economic growth and productivityThe counties featured in this report demonstrate that rather than seeking a single best policy to foster economic growth, the most effective approach is identifying, re-imagining and leveraging a number of assets in order to strengthen economic competitiveness for the future.

Read the report here.

 

BCFP Seeks Comment on Partnership with LEAs to Develop Model to Incorporate Financial Education Curriculum into K-12


The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is seeking public comment on the “Teacher Training Initiative (TTI) Local Education Agencies (LEA) Partnership Application” by December 10.

The Bureau plans to seek Office of Management and Budget approval to collect application information from LEAs interesting in partnering with the Bureau to design and implement a model for training K-12 teachers to teach and/or incorporate financial education concepts in their curriculum. The goal of the Initiative is to identify ways to improve and sustain youth financial capabilities by training and supporting teachers at the LEA-level to teach relevant financial concepts.

Click here for the November 10 “thirty-day” FEDERAL REGISTER notice.

Click here for the August 20, 2014 “sixty-day” FEDERAL REGISTER notice.

 

BLS Seeks Comments on the Proposed Extension of Information Collection in Support of Cooperative Agreements with State Workforce Agencies


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) enters into Cooperative Agreements with State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) annually to provide financial assistance to the SWAs for the production and operation of the following LMI statistical programs: Current Employment Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, and Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. The Cooperative Agreement provides the basis for managing the administrative and financial aspects of these programs.

The existing collection of information allows Federal staff to negotiate the Cooperative Agreement with the SWAs and monitor their financial and programmatic performance and adherence to administrative requirements imposed by common regulations implementing Office of OMB Circular A-102 and other grant related regulations. The information collected also is used for planning and budgeting at the Federal level and in meeting Federal reporting requirements.

BLS has recently published the sixty-day notice regarding the information collection, seeking public comment by January 12, 2015. Click here for the Federal Register notice.

 

Department of Energy Issues RFI on the National Training and Education Resource; Outlines Plans for Transfer of Stewardship to the Open Source Community


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed the National Training and Education Resource (NTER) to provide an open source platform for multimedia, self-paced training courses designed to build skills in clean energy vocations at lower costs than proprietary packages. NTER offers DOE and other organizations a unified platform to provide state-of-the-art training.

NTER users earn certifications and demonstrate competency that translate directly into on-the-job performance. Its highly modular design allows it to be used as a stand-alone open-source toolkit or combined with proprietary third-party materials. NTER is a learning management system (LMS) and Content Management System (CMS) that streamlines the delivery of training and content to stakeholders. It was designed to leverage open source code, enabling educators to create content and students to take courses easily.

DOE's intent has been to transfer stewardship of the platform to an entity within the open source community in order to maximize market adoption while fostering open source, shared learning environments. It is envisioned that one or more non-governmental entities with expertise in open source development of educational content creation and sharing will be most qualified to take over this well-developed product and its customer-base.

The Department has published a Request for Information (RFI) that seeks input from those entities interested in taking over NTER as well as from impacted parties. The November 12 FEDERAL REGISTER announces the RFI and provides additional background. The RFI is available at: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov. Comments are due by December 3.

 

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Accelerating Opportunity Initiative: Aspen Institute and Urban Institute Release First Year Evaluation Report


The Accelerating Opportunity (AO) initiative, launched in 2011, aims to increase the ability of students with low basic skills to earn valued occupational credentials, obtain a well-paying job, and sustain a rewarding career. AO is encouraging states to change the delivery of adult education for students interested in learning career skills by enrolling them in for-credit career and technical education courses at local community colleges as they improve their basic education and English language skills. Four states - Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina - began formal implementation of the AO model in spring 2012 and oversaw the development of integrated career pathways in 33 community and technical colleges.

The First Year of Accelerating Opportunity: Implementation from the States and Colleges documents how AO colleges and states designed and implemented the core elements of the AO model, which include contextualized, integrated and accelerated learning, and for-credit career pathways that provide valued occupational credentials.

This initiative was launched under the management and guidance of Jobs for the Future (JFF) and in partnership with the National College Transition Network (NCTN), the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE), and the State Board for Community & Technical Colleges in Washington State.

JFF contracted with the Urban Institute and its partners - the Aspen Institute and the George Washington University - to carry out an independent evaluation of the initiative. AspenWSI is co-leading the implementation component of the evaluation with the Urban Institute.

The initiative is supported by a consortium of foundations, that includes The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Open Society Foundations, The W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and The University of Phoenix Foundation.

Read the report here.

 

ETA Requests Comments on Proposed Revisions to Senior Community Service Employment Program Performance Measurement System


The Employment and Training Administration is currently soliciting comments concerning the collection of data for program performance reports, including a customer satisfaction survey, for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The current expiration date for the Office of Management and Budget's approval of these data collection forms is March 31, 2015.

Written comments are due by January 5, 2015.

The November 5, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background and instruction for the submission of comments.

Excerpt:

Originally authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is funded for approximately $434 million for PY 2014 and will provide over 44,000 positions in which nearly 69,000 low-income persons aged 55 or older will be placed in community service employment.

A slight upward adjustment in burden hours is due to the recent awarding of 14 new discretionary grants (of one year duration), for which we are collecting additional information. We are also including an estimated burden of 2 hours per quarter, per grant, for the quarterly narrative report.

 

Department of Commerce Announces Next Phase of Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Initiative


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on October 31, 2014 announced the opening of the competition for the next round of designations under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative, building on the momentum from the first-ever Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Summit in Washington, DC.

The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, an Administration-wide initiative coordinated by the U.S. Commerce Department, is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide. Specifically, the program aligns federal economic development investments behind long-term economic development strategies that help communities attract and expand private investment in the manufacturing sector and increase international trade and exports. Secretary Pritzker announced the first 12 communities to receive a designation under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership in May 2013, and this competition seeks to double the number of IMCP-designated communities across the country.

The FEDERAL REGISTER Notice detailing the application process will be posted in the coming weeks. As with the first round of competition, in order to earn the designation, communities need to demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in their region and develop strategies to make investments in six areas: 1) workforce and training, 2) advanced research, 3) infrastructure and site development, 4) supply chain support, 5) trade and international investment, 6) operational improvement and capital access.

News Release

 

Human Trafficking: HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on Data Collection Form for Child Victims; Seeks Comment on 'Rescue & Restore Regional Program Project Data' with Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Components


The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008, Public Law 110-457, directs the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), upon receipt of credible information that an alien child may have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking in persons and is seeking Federal assistance available to victims of trafficking, to promptly determine if the child is eligible for interim assistance. The law further directs the Secretary of HHS to determine if a child receiving interim assistance is eligible for assistance as a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons after consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and nongovernmental organizations with expertise on victims of severe form of trafficking.

In developing procedures for collecting the necessary information from potential child victims of trafficking, their case managers, attorneys, or other representatives to allow HHS to grant interim eligibility, HHS devised a form. HHS has determined that the use of a standard form to collect information is the best way to ensure requestors are notified of their option to request assistance for child victims of trafficking and to make prompt and consistent determinations about the child'''s eligibility for assistance.

Click here for additional background in the November 12 FEDERAL REGISTER which specifies the content requirements of the form. Comments should be submitted within 30 to 60 days.

HHS/ACF has also published a notice on November 12 for the Rescue & Restore Regional Program Project Data. The Rescue & Restore Program has the following objectives:

(1) Identification and Referral of Foreign Victims of Human Trafficking: To identify foreign victims of trafficking and refer them to service delivery systems.

(2) Training and Technical Assistance: To build local capacity by providing training and technical assistance on human trafficking to local organizations not involved in a local coalition.

(4) Public Awareness: To promote the public's awareness of human trafficking by educating the public about the dangers of human trafficking, possible indicators of sex and labor trafficking, and the protections available to victims.

To measure each grant project's performance progress and the success of the program, and to assist grantees to assess and improve their projects over the course of the project period, ACF proposes to require grantees to input numbers for each numeric indicator and other information for qualitative indicators into a spreadsheet during the 36-month project period.

HHS/ACF is also requesting comments on a new collection -- Trafficking Victims Tracking System. Click here for the November 12 notice.

Also see: Training and Employment Guidance Letter 09-12 -- Human Trafficking: The Role of the Public Workforce System in the Delivery of Services and Referrals to Victims of Trafficking

 

EPA Announces December 4 Webinar on FY 2015 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Application Guidelines/Requests for Proposals


The Environmental Protection Agency will conduct a webinar on December 4 provide an overview of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Grant Application Guidelines/Request for Proposals (RFP) and competition. Prospective applicants will be provided an opportunity to ask questions and gain useful information for submitting a strong proposal. Changes from the FY14 EWDJT competition will also be covered.

December 4th 2:00-4:00 PM Eastern Time
Call-in number: (866) 299-3188, conference code: 2025662772#

To join the meeting, please go to the following link:
https://epa.connectsolutions.com/r53z0s9dvb4

 

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U.S. Cluster Mapping Official Launch: Presentations and PowerPoints Now Available


Excerpts from the U.S. Cluster Mapping newsletter:

The U.S. Cluster Mapping tool (ClusterMapping.us) provides over 50 million open data records on industry clusters and regional business environments to promote economic growth and U.S. competitiveness. The project is led by Professor Michael Porter through Harvard Business School''''s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Professor Porter launched the new U.S. Cluster Mapping tool on September 29th as part of a two-day conference called Mapping the Midwest's Future, hosted by the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The conference hosted over 200 business leaders, policymakers, economic development officials and academics from twelve Midwest states and four Canadian provinces. Professor Michael Porter delivered a keynote speech at the launch event of the new U.S. Cluster Mapping tool in Minneapolis on September 29th, which focused on U.S. competitiveness and cluster-based economic development, to reshape the approach to economic development in the U.S. based on a deeper understanding of the drivers of competitiveness in the modern global economy. PDF of PowerPoint Presentation

In his speech, Professor Porter laid out a cluster-based approach to economic development and growth, focusing on competitiveness and innovation. He emphasized the need for a bottom-up approach led by the private sector. There are many positive examples of clusters helping to drive regional development initiatives in the Midwest, from Milwaukee's Water Council to NorTech, a technology-focused organization that strengthens Northeast Ohio by accelerating regional innovation. Learn more

Professor Mercedes Delgado from Temple University's Fox School of Business and Professor Scott Stern from MIT Sloan School of Management delivered a presentation at the launch event of the new U.S. Cluster Mapping tool in Minneapolis on September 29th, which focused on the underlying research and methodology behind cluster mapping. PDF of PowerPoint Presentation

October 2, 2014 webinar walkthrough, presented to SelectUSA

Videos and additional presentations from the event will be available next week at clustermapping.us

 

Retirement of QWI Online and Industry Focus


With the release of QWI Explorer, the QWI Online and Industry Focus applications have been officially retired. The Census Bureau now encourages the use QWI Explorer and the LED Extraction Tool for access to the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) dataset. Questions and comments can be directed to CES.QWI.Feedback@census.gov.
 

Census Bureau Seeks Public Comment on Excision of Questions from ACS; Proposes "Undergraduate Field of Degree" for Removal


The Census Bureau announced on October 31 that it is seeking public comment on the potential removal of seven questions to the American Community Survey (ACS). Comments are due by December 30, 2014.

Note that one of the seven questions under consideration for removal is:

Person Question No. 12--Undergraduate Field of Degree--This question focuses on this person''s Bachelor's Degree. Please print below the specific major(s) of any Bachelor's Degrees this person has received.
Through the October 31 invitation, the public is invited to comment on all questions on the American Community Survey; however, the Census Bureau is particularly interested in comments on the seven identified ACS questions. Census notes: “Federal agencies that are the principal sponsors of these seven questions are invited to respond either directly to the Census Bureau or through this notice and provide revised or additional justification for these questions, especially concerning strategies to reduce respondent burden. We would anticipate comments concerning such strategies as examining alternative data sources, changes to wording or presentation, using a more limited sample, reducing question frequency, federal agency collaboration on the review of statutes or regulations, among others."

To view all 2014 ACS questions by category with their associated justifications, please visit: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/about_the_survey/acs_content_review/.

 

Health Information Technology: HHS Publishes Meeting Schedules for 2014 Standards and Policy Committees; Proposes Reinstatement of Report


Subjects: Federal policy and advisory groups; Federal data collections; ETA grants-in-aid supporting health information technology; at Healthcare VCN; Creating a Career Pathway in Health Information Professions, Supporting the Emerging Health Information Technology Workforce through Partnerships'webinar; Training and Employment Notice 14-11 (Implementation of Electronic Health Records); Competency Model for Health - Electronic Health Records; Resource Guide for Health Information Technology.
The Department of Health and Human Services has published the meeting schedule for the Health Information Technology Standards Committee for 2015. The Committee provide recommendations to the National Coordinator on standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the electronic exchange and use of health information for purposes of adoption, consistent with the implementation of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, and in accordance with policies developed by the Health IT Policy Committee.

The committee will hear reports during these meetings from its workgroups and updates from ONC and other Federal agencies. ONC intends to make background material available to the public no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting start time. If ONC is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, it will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on ONC's Web site after the meeting, at http://www.healthit.gov/FACAS/health-it-standards-committee

HHS has also published the 2015 meeting schedule for the Health IT Policy Committee. This Committee provide recommendations to the National Coordinator on a policy framework for the development and adoption of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that permits the electronic exchange and use of health information as is consistent with the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan and that includes recommendations on the areas in which standards.

The committee will hear reports during these meetings from its workgroups and updates from ONC and other Federal agencies. ONC intends to make background material available to the public no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting start time. If ONC is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, it will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on ONC's Web site after the meeting, at http://www.healthit.gov/FACAS/health-it-policy-committee.

Reinstatement of Data Collection The OS/Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced today it is requesting approval by OMB for reinstatement with change of a previously approved collection of information (OMB control number 0990-0013). The ONC seeks to add the:

  • collection of information requirement in Sec. 170.523(f)(8) for ONC-ACBs to report to ONC a hyperlink with each EHR technology they certify that provides the public with the ability to access the test results used to certify the EHR technology.
  • collection of information requirement in Sec. 170.540(c) for ONC-ACBs to submit a renewal request, containing any updates to the information in Sec. 170.520, every three years.

Under the ONC HIT Certification Program, accreditation organizations that wish to become the ONC-Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) must submit certain information, organizations that wish to become and remain an ONC-ACB must submit the information specified by the application and renewal requirements, and ONC-ACBs must comply with collection and reporting requirements, records retention requirements, and submit annual surveillance plans and annually report surveillance results.

More....

 

HUD Releases Two Year Progress Report on Sandy Rebuilding Strategy


Note: Recommendation #48 on promoting best practices of local workforce agencies appears on page 105 of the new HUD report on Sandy Rebuilding. The recapitulation of all recommendations, agency leads, and completion status begins on page 159.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Sandy Program Management Office (PMO) has issued a report tracking progress on the Sandy Rebuilding Strategy. The report is now available online.

The Rebuilding Strategy, released by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force in August 2013, includes a long-term plan that guides Sandy Supplemental spending, drives regional coordination, and makes communities more resilient to future disasters.

News Release

 

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Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers: MDRC Reports on Implementation of Sector-Focused Career Advancement Model for Low-Skilled Adults


From MDRC’s latest newsletter: The WorkAdvance program model integrates the most promising features of two especially important areas of workforce policy: “sectoral” strategies, which seek to meet the needs of both workers and employers by preparing individuals for quality jobs in specific high-demand industries or occupational clusters, and job retention and career advancement strategies, which seek to improve workers’ prospects for sustained employment and upward mobility. Specifically, the WorkAdvance model offers the following sequence of sector-focused program components to participants for up to two years after enrollment: preemployment and career readiness services, occupational skills training, job development and placement, and postemployment retention and advancement services. WorkAdvance programs are currently operated by four organizations (two in New York City, one in Tulsa, and one in Greater Cleveland) that focus on a variety of sectors and bring different types of experience and approaches to the implementation of WorkAdvance.

This first report presents early findings on how the four local program providers translated the WorkAdvance model into a workable program. It offers lessons that may be helpful to organizations seeking to implement a sector-focused career advancement program like WorkAdvance.

The WorkAdvance program operations and evaluation are funded through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a public-private partnership administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This SIF project is led by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) in collaboration with MDRC.

Key Findings

  • The WorkAdvance model is demanding, requiring providers to work effectively with both employers and program participants and to incorporate a postemployment advancement component that was new to all of the providers. Yet all four providers are now delivering each of the WorkAdvance components, with postemployment services being the least developed.

  • Screening for program entry was driven by employer needs; as a result, on average, only one in five applicants were eligible and qualified for the program.

  • The “soft skills” taught in career readiness classes appear to have been as important to participants and employers as the technical skills acquired from occupational skills training.

  • Early indications are that completion rates for occupational skills training are high, although they vary somewhat across the providers. In most cases, completion of the training led to the earning of an industry-recognized credential, which is a critical first step toward getting a job in the sector.

    Support from the Social Innovation Fund for WorkAdvance program operations will continue through June 2015. MDRC’s second report, in late 2015, will examine WorkAdvance implementation in more depth and will present findings on program costs as well as impacts on employment, earnings, and other outcomes of the program.

    Executive Summary Full Report