Ensuring citizens are fully prepared for a competitive and technology-focused workplace has been a driving force in national, state, and local policy in recent years. Now, more than ever, workers must have basic professional skills, such as broad communication abilities and a teamwork mentality, as well as specialized technical knowledge, to get hired and maintain a job long-term.

These skills are being taught in a variety of settings using different methods. Workforce training, depending on the level of skill needed, occurs at local workforce boards, career technical education centers, community colleges, and universities. The trainings are geared toward high school students, veterans, under- and unemployed, and those displaced by a changing job market. Trainers understand the need to for varied instructional methods and services to accommodate the diverse skill levels and populations, using strategies such as a simulated work environment (i.e., contextualized learning), involvement of employers, intrusive advising, and connecting students with resources to help them succeed (e.g., transportation support, housing assistance, food bank access).

The Hezel team has been involved in the workforce training space for many years. Our staff were on the forefront of the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants, which funded innovative work training programs in community colleges. We have helped large multi-college consortia, as well as single institutions understand how well their new programs and student supports were serving their participants, in terms of retention, completion, and job attainment. We also evaluate numerous NSF programs that focus on development of state-of-the-art training. Industries covered by these programs are wide-ranging—programs we have evaluated have been in the advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, cybersecurity, and environmental fields.

We understand the importance of demonstrating the successful implementation of workforce training programs and helping to identify where improvement can occur. This information tells the story of the hard work and dedication of program implementers and can show an institution’s administration, new potential funders, and the general public how their activities are meeting the needs of workers, employers, and the local economy. Reach out to us today for help in designing a useful evaluation of your workforce training program.

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