Encouraging Evidence on a Sector-Focused Advancement Strategy: Two-Year Impacts from the WorkAdvance Demonstration

Program/Intervention: 
WorkAdvance
Implementing Organization: 
Per Scholas, St. Nicks Alliance, Madison Strategies Group, Toward Employment
Intermediary(s): 
Mayors Fund to Advance New York
Summary: 

WorkAdvance is a workforce development program that provides occupational skills training in targeted sectors.  A randomized control trial was conducted in four sites nationally to determine if the program improves employment and increases the earnings among low-income individuals, defined as 200% of the Federal Poverty Line and below.

The study looked at how the four providers implemented the model, the adjustments they made over time, the increase in employment and earnings among participants and the cost of operation.

The study found that:

  • By the second year after entering the program, participants at three out of four sites saw annual earnings increase significantly over the control group.
  • WorkAdvance was able to significantly increase earnings and employment rates for the long-term unemployed, a group that has proved resistant to many other policy interventions.
  • At the two sites that were newer to this approach, the program had much larger impacts on earnings and employment for those who began WorkAdvance later in the study period, showing that the model takes time to fully implement.
  • WorkAdvance significantly increased employment in the target sector at all providers.
CNCS Program(s): 
Social Innovation Fund
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Economic Opportunity
Outcomes Category(s): 
Employment
Study Type(s): 
Impact
Implementation
Study Design(s): 
Experimental (RCT)
Level of Evidence: 
Strong
Evaluator: 
MDRC
Year Published: 
2016
Date Posted Online: 
March 14, 2017
Back to Top